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Only 31% of domestic flights have Wi-Fi, study finds

September 23, 2012|By Hugo Martin

On the streets of most cities, access to wireless Internet is as ubiquitous as coffee shops. But on domestic airlines, Wi-Fi is still only available on about a third of flights.

A new study by the flight rating website Routehappy.com found that 31% of all domestic flights offered wireless access as of Sept. 17, while the other 69% didn’t.

To improve your chances of getting in-flight Wi-Fi access, you’ll need to shop around for the right airline.

For example, Burlingame, Calif.-based Virgin America and Dallas-based AirTran Airways offer wireless Internet access on 100% of their flights, according to Routehappy. Among larger carriers, Delta has Internet on about 65% of its flights, while Southwest offers it on 37% of its flights.

On the other end of the scale are airlines such as American (22% of its flights), US Airways (8%) and United (0.5%), according to Routehappy. United hopes to improve its ranking: It has announced plans to install satellite-based Wi-Fi on the rest of its fleet by the end of 2015.

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Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter @hugomartin

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