Hawaiian Airlines Cancels Many Flights As A321 Problems Deepen

Hawaiian Airlines WiFi Announced: It’s Free and Fast

Bellwether Hawaiian Airlines will arrive at the WiFi party later than every other major airline. But when it finally goes online and adds WiFi starting next year, there’s much good news. Not only will it be the first of its kind regarding technology, but it will be both fast, and free. Regarding just how fast, Hawaiian said it’ll be “very impressive.” That courtesy of a surprise partnership with Elon Musk’s Space X.

Our take is that we have sorely missed WiFi on Hawaiian Airlines flights. We regularly fly on other airlines to and from Hawaii, including Alaska, and while we aren’t obsessed with staying connected, there are just times when we need to complete something before heading off. We are hopeful this will offer all of us a great guest experience. What about you?

Hawaiian Airlines WiFi announcement.

The carrier will use Elon Musk SpaceX’s Starlink satellites for the new wifi network offering. The airline will be the first to use the service, which is based on a network of 2,000 earth-orbiting Starlink service satellites. Starink says, “Using advanced satellites in a low orbit, Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet. Users can expect to see download speeds between 100 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms in most locations.”

See a complete summary of WiFi on flights to Hawaii.

Hawaiian’s plan is for free wi-fi that will be very fast. It will be installed on its fleet of 42 Airbus A330 and A321neos. It will also be found onboard its upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet due to start arriving next year. It’s available to all guests, including the economy main cabin.

The fact that this service will be both fast and free will likely have a beneficial impact for passengers aboard all other airlines, especially those who plan to continue to charge for WiFi. The cost passengers pay has fast been dropping, and that has only gotten better since behemoth Southwest Hawaii flights added WiFi for a flat $8 fee.

Previously the company has had in flight entertainment, which was available on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

“Revolutionary laser mesh network.”

The Starlink tests for the new high standards, low-latency WiFi offering have not yet started. Hawaiian spokesperson Avi Mannis said, there remain “certification issues that need to be worked through before we’re ready to operate the product. But we’re confident that there’s a path forward for that.” The company appears to be in just the initial stages of implementation at this time.

The new service uses a “revolutionary laser mesh network,” which provides greater reliability. Streaming content, games and real-time air to ground collaboration will all be supported in addition to browsing and messaging. The airline said that “connecting to the internet will be seamless when guests walk on board, without registration pages or payment portals.”

Only short interisland flights aren’t included at this time.

It is worth noting that the airline’s interisland fleet will be the only select aircraft that won’t be WiFi-equipped at this time. While that could come later, it isn’t clear that it will. Those flights have an average duration of just thirty minutes between islands.

Starlink’s sales VP Jonathan Hofeller said, “Hawaiian Airlines is ensuring its passengers will experience high-speed internet the way we expect it in the 21st century, making hassles like downloading movies before takeoff a relic of the past.”

We expect to hear more by tomorrow from company CEO Peter Ingram, when Hawaiian has a quarter report scheduled to be released. Today Ingram said, “When we launch with Starlink we will have the best connectivity experience available in the air. We waited until technology caught up with our high standards for guest experience, but it will be worth the wait.”


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17 thoughts on “Hawaiian Airlines WiFi Announced: It’s Free and Fast”

  1. Last time we flew HA we said “never again” because the leg room was so tight. The HA dark meat chicken/cheese sandwich dripped out on our clothes while we were struggling to tear open the sealed bag and it was absolutely horrible. Will refuse it if there is a next time. Will not use WiFi unless it’s free. SWA offers free texting which is all I need. SWA has Huge perk that has it all over other airlines and that is SWA gives credit for canceled flights that can be are banked for up to one year. That is a huge benefit that other airlines do not offer and far more important than WiFi.,

  2. We enjoy flying with HA! Excited for the free WiFi! Would like better food options. The sandwich wrap is not good. I hope they will revisit the food served. Thanks

  3. this is exactly what’s wrong with tourism. to many zombie sheep concerned with virtual connection and not real life connection and learning of the culture that been stomped on and ruined by foreigners and mainlanders since the white man came to the islands.

  4. I still do old school entertainment on flights to and from the islands from the Left Coast. Finished Tracey Garvis Graves’ wonderful book, The Girl He Used to Know,” and the hours flew by. When not buried in the book, I got to see the Pacific covered by clouds that reminded me of a long-ago bubble bath, then a huge blanket of marshmallows.There’s much to be said in favor of traveling tech-free

  5. We frequently fly both HA & SW, OAK to LIH and inter island. We are satisfied with both. We would trade the free wifi and the mushy sandwich for a 2nd free checked bag on HA like SW has. Good job BOH.

  6. This is great news! And to P Lui, I disagree with all the issues you mentioned. I find the seats to be comfortable, and although I’m not crazy about the egg burrito thing, they do feed us, whereas other airlines don’t. The crew is always friendly, and I’ve always had kind and helpful people at the counters. I am a loyal customer of HA, and will continue to fly with them. Mahalo!

    1. Hi Claudia.

      We concur with you. The food is meh – but then if you go on a flight and don’t bring your own food, what can you really expect? At least it’s something, like you said.


  7. WOW! About time Hawaiian! That was my only complaint about the airline but always made do with downloaded movies. I’m not much of a techie, how does that 100/200 mbs download speed compare to the other carriers?

    1. Hi John.

      Our take is that those numbers won’t mean much until we see it and try it. The product certainly looks impressive. Thank you for nearly 500 comments to date!


    2. the 100/200 mbps is fast enough to stream and make voice and video calls … if it stays connected while flying that is!!


      1. Hi Randy.

        Your point is well taken – it should be fast enough. At BOH’s office we pay for 500mbps service. Do you get that even wired up – rarely. Wifi seems to always be slower than advertised.


        1. I pay for 150 mbps service at my office and it’s always either right at 150 or slightly above both hard wired and wireless… (high end router helps!)

          1. Hi Randy.

            Good to hear. Maybe things just work better in Arizona compared with here in Hawaii.


  8. Aloha,
    This is just another waste of money by HA… There’s numerous other issues the airline should be upgrading before WiFi…
    How about more comfortable seats, upgrades to the current inflight entertainment, major upgrades to provided foods, better training for employees at the airport counters…
    Like the Hawaiian government this airline constantly knows how to waste money!!!
    Mahalo 🤙🏼

    1. Wow. Sincerely hope you fly another airline before visiting again. Not the attitude we hope to see from visitors to our islands. People should arrive here happy to be away from the mainland and enjoy paradise. Not sweat the small stuff.
      Wishing you aloha

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