JetBlue Expects To Have Free WiFi On All Planes By Fall 2016

For the past two years, JetBlue has fancied itself as the only airline that would someday offer customers free in-flight wifi on all its planes. While the carrier hasn’t quite captured the title just yet, it plans to have it in hand by next fall. 

JetBlue announced on Wednesday that after recently meeting two milestones for its Fly-Fi service, it anticipates offering the in-flight connection to all passengers on all flights by the fall of 2016.

“Soon every JetBlue customer will step onboard knowing their aircraft is equipped with free, fast Internet and entertainment,” Jamie Perry, vice president of brand and product development, JetBlue, said in a statement.

In a progress update on Wednesday, the company said it has completed the installation of Fly-Fi on its entire fleet of 150 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

Additionally, the first Fly-Fi enabled E190 airplane hit the open skies last week. That fleet will be equipped with the in-flight wifi service over the next year.

When the carrier first announced its service, it claimed it was the first airline to use “high-speed Ka-band satellite connectivity” about eight-times as fast as other in-flight wifi options.

JetBlue’s push to complete its Fly-Fi installation comes as the company announced earlier this year that it would partner with Amazon to offer free streaming to Amazon Prime subscribers.

As Consumerist previously reported, JetBlue’s current free wifi for passengers is suitable for web browsing and checking email, but to get the sort of bandwidth to download large files or use VPN, you’d have to pay about $9 for its Fly-Fi Plus service.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.