Wi-Fi Availability on Airlines Expanded In 2015

78% of available seat miles on U.S. carriers offer Wi-Fi, barring spotty signals or out-of-service issues, according to Routehappy,

Travellers anywhere in the world now have slightly better than one-in-three odds of getting Wi-Fi on their flights, according to Routehappy’s Global State of In-Flight Wi-Fi report.

Globally, 60 airlines now offer in-flight Wi-Fi, and passengers get “some chance” at Wi-Fi—a RouteHappy measurement indicating service might still unavailable due to aircraft swaps, spotty or out of order—on 36 percent of available seat miles, according to the report. Among U.S. carriers, 78 percent of ASMs come with a chance of Wi-Fi, compared with about two-thirds a year prior. Carriers based elsewhere offer Wi-Fi on a quarter of ASMs, similar to last year.

Delta Air Lines edges out its competitors for the most Wi-Fi-enabled ASMs, though United Airlines and American Airlines are closing the gap, according to the report. American gained significant coverage when it acquired US Airways and its Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft, and United has the most long-haul ASMs with Wi-Fi among U.S. carriers. Virgin America, meanwhile, has the highest percentage of flights equipped with Wi-Fi among U.S. carriers: nearly 100 percent.

Globally, Emirates leads in long-haul ASMs with Wi-Fi—nearly twice those of United, ranked second—and Lufthansa is the only carrier to offer Wi-Fi on 100 percent of its long-haul flights. Aeroflot, Garuda Indonesia and United all are nearing that distinction.

Other airlines with “substantial Wi-Fi offerings,” according to Routehappy, include Etihad Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Norwegian, SAS and Singapore-based low-cost carrier Scoot.

Article by Michael B Baker, originally appeared on www.businesstravelnews.com 14 Jan 2016.#

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