*** Updated with details of new pricing structure for paid-for WiFi***
Singapore Airlines has unveiled a much more generous WiFi offer for their first and suites class passengers. From August 1st, those traveling in first or suites can access free and unlimited WiFi connectivity on all Singapore Airlines WiFi capable aircraft.
Other premium passengers will get an upgrade too, with both business class and PPS Club passengers now receiving 100MB of free WiFi allowance.
Free WiFi for first class and suites
Previously, Singapore advertised free WiFi in both first and business class. However, while the connection was free, the data allowance was severely limited. First were allowed up to 100MB for free, while business and PPS Club got just 30MB.
From the 1st August, first class and suites passengers on Singapore Airlines can enjoy truly free and unlimited WiFi. Business class is also allotted an upgrade, now receiving 100MB of free data as opposed to 30MB.
The allowance is set, regardless of the method of booking. That means those who have used points or secured an upgrade to business or first will still be allowed to use the WiFi just the same as those who have made a cash booking.
Passengers can connect into the WiFi network using the onboard portal and then using the ‘complementary access’ link. Entering their last name and seat number will open the door to free and unlimited WiFi (well, for those in first or suites anyway).
Only on select aircraft
Not all Singapore Airlines aircraft are WiFi equipped. In fact, the only planes where you’ll find WiFi access available are:
- Airbus A350
- Airbus A380
- Boeing 777-300ER
- Boeing 787-10
There is no WiFi on the Airbus A330, the Boeing 777-200, -200ER or -300.
Even if you are on a WiFi capable aircraft, the provision is a bit of a mish-mash and somewhat confusing to understand.
SQ uses two main WiFi providers: Panasonic and SITA OnAir. SITA OnAir is present in the A380-800 fleet, as well as those A350-900s used for regional missions only. The A350-900s used for long haul operations use Panasonic Avionics, as do their Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.
The fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs is where it really starts to get confusing. Those registered 9V-SWA up to -SWT are equipped with OnAir, whereas those between 9V-SWU and -SWZ as well as 9V-SNA to -SNC are all Panasonic. All work over Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) network.
For a long time, the provider of Singapore’s WiFi was crucial for passengers, as it could seriously affect how much the service would cost you. Up until recently, Panasonic would price by time, so you could surf to your heart’s content for an hour or however long you’d paid for. OnAir, on the other hand, would price in data, which was far more restrictive in terms of what you could do.
However, at some point last year, Panasonic services switched to data-based pricing. Ironically, this made their service now more expensive to use than OnAir. With both providers, the pricing structure varied wildly by aircraft running to as cheap as US$0.04 per MB on some packages up to US$0.46 per MB on others.
Simplification of pricing across the board
As well as adding free WiFi for premium passengers, Singapore Airlines have adjusted the price structure of their paid-for services too. This will come as a great relief to passengers who are used to differing price models depending on the aircraft they’re on.
Singapore Airlines shared details of their new price plan with Get Connected, which is as follows:
- Chat (30MB) – USD 3.99: Optimised for text-only messaging services. Valid for 2 hours only or when the 30MB limit is reached.
- Pro (100MB) – USD 9.99: Great for web browsing and emails.
- Premium (200MB) – USD 15.99: Ideal for keeping up with work.
These new prices start immediately and will clearly make paying for WiFi on SQ flights a whole lot easier to understand. However, there is no ability to carry forward any leftover balance onto the next leg of your journey, so be sure to only purchase what you need.