Getting connected to WiFi and getting work done on an airplane can be a real struggle. While it seems that the guarantee for in-flight WiFi to work properly depends on the luck of the draw, one contributing factor is the number of passengers using it. Working WiFi also depends on the route the pilot is traveling because connectivity capabilities depend on cell phone towers on the ground and satellites.
So which airlines offer the best in-flight WiFi experience?
Traveloka, the leading travel-booking app in Southeast Asia, ranked the top 50 international carriers on a 100-point grading based on WiFi availability, speed, cost, USB port availability, and other connectivity factors.
When it comes to Traveloka’s Tech-Friendly Airlines Survey, the top three airlines to prioritize for in-flight efficiency are Qatar, Emirates, and Delta, in descending order.
And while only three carriers in the United States rank on Traveloka’s top 10 in-flight WiFi list, a report from Routehappy shows that the U.S. is among the most developed markets in the world for accessing WiFi on flights and in airports.
Routehappy’s 2018 WiFi Report analyzed markets from around the world and found that 82 airlines now offer in-flight WiFi. That’s a nearly 17 percent increase compared to 2017. In other words, WiFi is accessible on nearly half of all available seat miles worldwide — which wasn’t the case a decade ago.
The top three carriers that offer most connectivity per mile are Delta, American and Emirates, according to Routehappy. United comes in fourth on Routehappy’s list, and Southwest is ranked at fifth.
As technology changes and more airline carriers get on board with offering WiFi, other findings from the report show that Icelandair, Southwest, and Virgin Atlantic offer WiFi on all of their flights.
In the case of the best in-flight experience on long flights, only 13 airlines offer WiFi on all of its flights. The carriers include AirEuropa, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Eurowings, EVA Air, Iberia, Kuwait, Lufthansa, SAA, Scoot, United and Virgin Atlantic.