We recently raved about our first (and probably last) experience flying business class on EVA Air, when we cashed in all of our points for a 15-hour-flight. Between the lie-flat beds and the lobster meals, there was lots to love on their Boeing 777-300ER planes. But the one thing that absolutely made us cringe? The wifi charges.Two concessions before we launch into things: Yes, there at least is wifi, in case you really urgently need it. Many international flights still don't offer it. And no, you probably won't ever urgently need it, unless you're traveling for work or need to keep in constant contact with people on the ground.
Still, check this out: EVA charges $11.95 for one hour, $16.95 for three hours, and $21.95 for 24 hours. And you thought those $5 Gogo fees on your domestic flights were awful?
The most surprising thing is, EVA's prices are not the most expensive compared to those on other international airlines, and you can connect an unlimited number of devices. The airline is also currently giving business class passengers and customers who shop in the airline's in-flight catalog a 15-minute internet voucher, though it's unclear whether this is a temporary promotion.
The world of inflight internet connection is complex. Some airlines charge by the hour, some by data usage, others yet by flight segments. Airlines also may or may not offer separate, typically cheaper, plans for mobile use only. Putting a value to the services become even trickier when you consider varying connection speeds and network areas. For international flights especially, it's common to be out-of-range for some part of the journey.
Regardless, we can't think of a reason why internet connection should cost so much. Here's what you'll have to shell out for it on some airlines, domestic and international:
- Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, US Airways, Virgin America (Gogo): $5 for one hour; $16 for 24 hours
- JetBlue: Free for basic browsing (for now); $9 per hour for heavy bandwith use
- Southwest Airlines: $8 per day
- Aer Lingus: $14.95 for an hour; $24.95 for 24 hours
- Norwegian Air Shuttle: Free
- Etihad (Panasonic Wi-Fly): $11.95 for two hours; $17.95 for four hours; $21.95 for 24 hours
- Etihad (OnAir): $20 for 8MB; $40 for 16MB
- Singapore Airlines: From $9.99 for 10 MB and $11.95 for one hour
- Emirates: $7.50 for 5MB; $15 for 25MB; $25 for 100MB
- Lufthansa German Airlines: $14.95 for an hour; $24.95 for 24 hours
- Aeroflot: $22 for 9MB; $40 for 19MB
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: $14.95 for an hour; $24.95 for full flight
- SAS: $10 within Nordic region; $15 for rest of Europe; free for Plus and Business travelers.