Unless you are flying Delta (and even then, there’s a caveat), you’ll be paying for WiFi on flights to Hawaii. That is the case without regard to whether you fly American, Southwest, or United. But the good news you can make airline WiFi a lot less hassle while always saving you 50% or more of the cost when two or more are traveling together. It’s simple.
Issues Persist with WiFi on Hawaii flights.
There are still issues when using the airline’s WiFi on Hawaii flights. One is that it comes with a cost, although that surely has been dropping to the $8 to $10 range on airlines and free on Delta.
Another issue is that it simply doesn’t work on many flights. Recently, two Delta flights had no WiFi, but they said it was coming. So their concept of free on all flights is great, but for us, it hasn’t worked enough of the time.
Then there’s Hawaiian Airlines. If you’re flying with Hawaiian, the carrier has never had WiFi. They are promising to offer it free on all flights except interisland starting early in 2024, following delays.
And not to leave out other airlines. We flew United Airlines to Hawaii last week, and in spite of all promises and their app’s confirmation (and taking our money), there was no WiFI. WiFi on other United Hawaii works fine. We’ve had the same situation with Alaska Airlines Hawaii flight WiFi. Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
So it is still hard to figure out if it will be working or not, no matter how much we try. The point is to be prepared to not work or have WiFi and then be pleasantly surprised when you do. Or read, enjoy entertainment, or take a nap.
Hassle-free airline WiFi experience using your phone’s personal hotspot.
In addition, if you pay to use WiFi on one device, say your phone, it may not be that easy to use it on your laptop. Since your computer and phone already know each other (so to speak), using the mobile hotspot connection is largely automatic, instant, and hassle-free.
For the longest time, we have been using our phones’ mobile hotspots to avoid all of these problems. Here’s what we do:
- Prior to departure, configure your mobile hotspot in settings to never turn off.
- Turn on the mobile hotspot on the phone that will connect to the airline’s WiFi.
- Connect the other person’s phone to that mobile hotspot. This should not be necessary before taking off, as you are able to do this once in the air.
- Other devices can also share the WiFi from the one phone’s mobile hotspot.
Tip: Get all your devices synched up on your WiFi mobile hotspot before leaving home. That way, you’re ready to go. We frequently do this with hotel WiFi, too, just to simplify things. Who wants to keep figuring out WiFi logins on multiple devices?
Do you share your mobile hotspot for WiFi on flights to Hawaii?