Norwegian Air Starts Offering Free Wi-Fi on Intercontinental Flights

Jan 8, 2019

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New Year, new Wi-Fi. Norwegian Air has officially begun rolling out free Wi-Fi on its intercontinental flights.

Other transatlantic carriers, such as legacy US carriers, British Airways and more offer Wi-Fi, but at a cost to the passenger.

Norwegian has offered free Wi-Fi on all of its European routes since 2011, and it started offering live television onboard flights in 2015. But now the budget carrier is adding the internet connectivity to its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet, which fly its long-haul routes. The airline said in a statement Tuesday that the free internet service would last for the “full duration of long-haul flights.”

The new Wi-Fi has two options: basic and premium. Basic is the free version, and it will allow passengers to browse the web, use social media and send and receive emails on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. But any flyer who wants internet fast enough to use streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu will have to pay $14.95 for a three-hour package.

TPG team members that have previously flown transatlantic on Norwegian (on a 737-800 from New York (SWF) to Edinburgh (EDI) in 2017) have found that the “free Wi-Fi was too weak to even view websites, although it did recognize some files stored on Google Drive.”

Norwegian’s first 789 with the new Wi-Fi (registered: G-CKWP) was delivered on Dec. 18, 2018, and is currently in service. According to flight records on FlightRadar24, the aircraft is used on transatlantic flights between London Gatwick (LGW) and New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Oakland (OAK) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

The airline says its 789s and 737 MAXs will start getting free Wi-Fi access sometime in mid-January 2019, and it predicts that by 2020 more than 50% of its 789s will be outfitted to offer passengers free internet access.

Featured image courtesy of Norwegian.

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