Singapore Airlines announces free Wi-Fi for all passengers

Passengers of Singapore Airlines can now stay connected to free internet at an altitude of 12,000 meters.
Sejal Sharma
Representational image
Representational image


In simpler times, during a flight journey, one could switch off the cellular, read a good or a bad book, enjoy a glass of questionable wine, watch a movie in a different language using the in-flight entertainment system, or simply nod off. Or one could even dare to converse with a fellow passenger (gasp).

But we live in a digitally demanding age, and while it would be convenient for many to stay connected to the world outside of the airplane, up until about five years ago, flying meant going off the grid (sort of), even if for a couple of hours.

And now, more and more airlines have introduced free and chargeable Wi-Fi service to its passengers over the last decade. In an age of 5 billion daily internet users worldwide, more and more people have chosen to avail of the service.

Singapore Airlines has joined the list of airlines giving its passengers complimentary Wi-Fi. While free Wi-Fi is only available to passengers traveling in first class or business class on other airlines, Singapore Airlines’ fleet of aircraft will extend the service to travelers in all cabin classes starting July 1, 2023.

“As a result, customers across all cabin classes will be able to stay connected with loved ones, work online, or keep up to date with the latest news or their social media feeds, even from 36,000 feet in the sky,” said Singapore Airlines in a press release.

JetBlue, Delta Air Lines, Qatar Airways, and Norwegian Airlines are among the few airlines that do offer high Wi-Fi speed at 12,000 meters up in the air, but it comes with its own set of caveats. The extent of availability of Wi-Fi services differs from airline to airline. For most airlines, passengers should be part of their frequent flier program or pay a fee to access a premium plan with a faster internet speed.

According to the International Air Transport Association, global passenger traffic increased after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the airline sector halt. In April 2023, the global passenger traffic was back to 90% of the pre-Covid level, meaning the world is on track for a return to the 4.5 billion carried in 2019, as per a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

However, the airline announced that the free unlimited Wi-Fi service is available on all aircraft except for the seven Boeing 737-800 NGs that are not Wi-Fi enabled.

To avail of the offer, the passengers must sign up for KrisFlyer, a rewards program of the Singapore Airlines Group, onboard or online before the flight.

According to 2022 estimates by We Are Social, a UK business that tracks web and social media use, internet users spend about six hours daily surfing and scrolling on various social media websites. Not to say that free Wi-Fi availability will necessarily increase those numbers, but we need to ask ourselves - how much connectivity is too much?

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