With the holiday season here and an estimated 45 million people expected to travel by air between December 17th and January 4th, it is good to know how the top domestic airlines will keep you powered up and connected. All five of the top five North American airlines offer these kinds of amenities, and this guide is intended to help you learn what offers are available when you take to the skies this holiday.
Wi-Fi – In addition to two holiday bundle options available through their internet service provider, Gogo, American Airlines offers day passes for $16 or a monthly subscription for unlimited use for $49.95. Gogo’s holiday bundle options are for flights between December 20th and January 4th. The standard bundles must be purchased on before December 20th, but American Airlines passengers are able to purchase their bundle for a 60 minute 4 pack via a link on the American Airlines website through December 31st. Check it out or look for the Wi-Fi symbol on your boarding pass to see if you it’s available on your flight.
Power – Outlets are available for all First and Business Class seats on every plane and economy seats in the main cabin for newer planes. Confirm by looking for a lightning bolt symbol on the overhead bins in the main cabin for planes that only offer outlets in select rows. Some planes are still transitioning from DC to AC power, but those traveling in First or Business Class are able to use a free converter, just ask your flight attendant. American Airlines provides a detailed list of the available options on their aircraft, so be sure to check what kind of plane you’re on before flying.
How Your Airline’s Connectivity Compares
Wi-Fi – Delta boasts the world’s largest fleet of Wi-Fi enabled aircraft available on more than 800 planes. Also powered by Gogo, Delta offers three different plans, including a 24 hour pass ($16), an unlimited monthly pass ($49.95), and an unlimited annual pass ($479.95). Delta is the only airline on this list to offer an annual plan to passengers, which is perfect for the busy frequent flyer. And of course don’t forget that Gogo is currently offering two holiday bundle options. You’re able to see if your flight will offer Wi-Fi by entering your name and confirmation number on Delta’s website.
Power – Standard power outlets are available in First and BusinessElite seats for certain planes as well as for the first 10 rows of Economy class. USB outlets are also available on select aircraft, so be sure to check for the power outlet icon when booking your flight. If you have already booked your flight, you can also check to see if power outlets will be available by checking for you aircraft on Delta’s website.
Wi-Fi – Gogo internet service is currently available for Premium Service transcontinental aircraft flying between New York’s JFK and both LAX and SFO. Additionally, United is working on installing its own Wi-Fi on aircraft, which is currently available only on a few planes. Unlike Delta or American, they do not offer daily, weekly, or monthly passes and prices do vary depending on the flight. Check for the Wi-Fi logo on the side of the plane as you board or listen to the announcement from the flight crew to confirm availability on your trip. You can also check in advance by entering your flight information on United’s website.
Power – outlets are currently limited in availability on domestic flights while United works on equipping more planes; although most international flights do already have power outlets available. To check if your flight has power outlets available, search for your flight on the United website and check the “Inflight Amenities” tab.
Wi-Fi – Available for $8 a day, Southwest currently possesses the largest satellite-based Wi-Fi system in the world. You are able to check to see if your flight will offer Wi-Fi by entering your confirmation number and name into their Wi-Fi finder within 24 hours of departure.
Power – Unfortunately, Southwest’s website does not provide any information about the availability of power outlets on their flights.
Wi-Fi – Air Canada offers a few different package options for purchasing Wi-Fi service on their flights. Powered by Gogo, Air Canada offers passengers the option to purchase a 1-hour pass ($5), an all-day pass ($16), an unlimited monthly pass for their airline ($49.95), or an unlimited monthly pass for us on any flight with Gogo internet service ($59.95). If you are flying between December 20th and January 4th, you also have the option to purchase one of the same holiday bundles offered on American and Delta – just be sure to purchase your bundle on or before December 20th. Look for the Wi-Fi symbol while on board when you fly to see if your flight offers Wi-Fi service.
Power – While you may have to share with other passengers in your row on some flights, most of Air Canada’s planes have power outlets available. The only exceptions to this are their Express flight aircraft, which offers limited power outlets and in some cases only USB outlets. You can check for options available on your specific aircraft by checking Air Canada’s website.