Frequent flyers will know first-hand the frustrations of volume-based Wi-Fi packages, which limit browsing by the amount of data consumed. With the number of background apps running on your phone or computer, it’s easy to burn through your allowance in a matter of minutes.
Time-based plans are much more customer-friendly, offering all-you-can-eat data within a given period. Singapore Airlines used to offer both time and volume-based packages depending on aircraft, but later harmonised things for the worse by largely eliminating the former.
However, there’s now some good news: Singapore Airlines is bringing back time-based Wi-Fi plans on a trial basis. In addition to this, it’s also expanding the complimentary Wi-Fi trial for selected passengers to cover the entire fleet.
Singapore Airlines’ new Wi-Fi plans
Singapore Airlines currently offers the following Wi-Fi plans onboard its aircraft.
|📶 SIA Wi-Fi Pricing|
Chat and Surf are time-based, while Pro and Premium are volume-based. However, the Chat plan is only good for text-based messaging, leaving Surf as the only time-based option for those who need to get serious work done.
US$15.99 for 3 hours is a steep price indeed. On Singapore Airlines’ longest flight to Newark (18+ hours), you could theoretically pay almost US$100 for connectivity throughout!
However, MileLion reader Nalin spotted earlier this week (on an A380 flight to London) that time-based packages had made a comeback. The new plans are referred to simply by their duration:
|📶 SIA Wi-Fi Pricing (Trial)|
There’s obviously some decoy pricing going on here, in the sense that few people would choose the 3-hours package unless their flight was roughly that duration, but it’s still a much better deal than the existing pricing scheme.
I reached out to Singapore Airlines to ask about these new plans, and was told the following:
These Wi-Fi plans are currently offered for a trial period. SIA is also continuously reviewing our Wi-Fi plans to offer competitive complimentary Wi-Fi access and Wi-Fi price plans for passengers that are commercially, operationally and technically viable
This means we’ll temporarily have a mix of both pricing plans across the fleet. SIA did not specify which aircraft enjoy the trial, but if I had to guess I’d say the A350-900 MH would also be a good bet, since it uses the same Wi-Fi system as the A380-800s.
If you’re offered this on an upcoming flight, do share!
Free Wi-Fi trial expanded fleet-wide
Back in August 2022, Singapore Airlines launched a trial that offered Business Class and PPS Club members whole-flight unlimited Wi-Fi, with KrisFlyer members receiving a 2-hour allowance. This was available on selected aircraft like the B787-10.
|📶 SIA Wi-Fi Allowances|
|Suites & First||Unlimited|
Singapore Airlines has now confirmed that the trial has been rolled out fleet-wide. So long as your aircraft offers Wi-Fi connectivity, you’ll enjoy the allowances above.
The complimentary Wi-Fi trial in Business Class has been extended to all aircraft in our fleet, except our Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft which does not offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity.
The only aircraft in the SIA fleet without Wi-Fi is the B737-800 NG, which currently flies to destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Surabaya and Yangon. There’s only seven of these aircraft left in the fleet, so your chances of getting one of them are slim.
|Aircraft Type||Inflight Connectivity|
|A350-900 Long Haul||✔|
|A350-900 Ultra Long Haul||✔|
Don’t forget: to enjoy any free Wi-Fi allowance arising from status, you must provide your frequent flyer number at the time of check-in or at the gate. If your boarding pass does not reflect your membership, it’s too late to do anything once on board.
Staying connected while flying will become much more affordable for Singapore Airlines passengers with the reintroduction of time-based Wi-Fi packages. If you ask me, this is long overdue. Given the improvements in bandwidth and the data-hungriness of modern apps, 100-200MB is simply not good enough.
This is currently offered on a limited basis, so here’s hoping time-based plans (plus free Wi-Fi for PPS Club and Business Class passengers) becomes a permanent thing.