Navigating the Airwaves: Demystifying How In-Flight Wi-Fi Works Soars

How in-flight Wi-Fi works

How In-flight Wi-fi Works Ever wondered how to use the internet in a moving airplane at 36,000 feet? Or how does in-flight Wi-Fi keep you connected to the Internet?

Passengers are required to keep mobile phones or devices on airplane mode or turn them off completely while on board. This is annoying to many.

Many urgent tasks require constant communication with the ground office. And those who are used to internet on long flights may find it boring to spend time without internet. If the internet can be used all the time in the flying plane, it is undoubtedly a great thing. But are Wi-Fi facilities available in airplanes?

The good news is that every day new airlines are introducing Wi-Fi facilities in their planes through which the internet can be accessed even while in the air.

But how is Internet available in the sky 36,000 feet above the ground? And what does Wi-Fi actually mean here? The simple answer to this question is: Until now, we have not been able to fully utilize the benefits of Wi-Fi in airplanes. Let’s find out some information that may be useful for your future air travel.

Can you use the internet on the plane?

The answer to this question depends on which airline you are flying with, the route you are traveling from, and the model of the aircraft carrying you.

All things considered, yes, you can now surf the Internet on many airlines’ planes, with the help of in-flight Wi-Fi. Considering the needs of the passengers, many airlines are now offering this facility. Gradually, the number of airlines providing Wi-Fi services is increasing.

You need to book with airlines for this. Some operators offer single-use passes or Wi-Fi passes for one-time use. You can also take packages from some companies.

But more bandwidth costs more money. But if you want to be in the office or business during the stay in the plane, you can spend this much. Or you have to spend time reading, sleeping, or looking out the window.

How does Wi-Fi work on airplanes?

There are two operating systems for running Wi-Fi on airplanes. One is ground based, i.e. Air-to-Ground (ATG) Wi-Fi, and the other is Satellite Wi-Fi.

Ground-to-air Wi-Fi works much like a mobile phone connection. Here an antenna under the main structure of the aircraft maintains a constant connection with the mobile tower. As the aircraft moves, these antennas connect to transmitters on nearby mobile towers one after the other.

The entire aircraft becomes a Wi-Fi hotspot due to active communication with mobile transmitters. Passengers can then do everything they normally do using the Internet—such as sending emails, making phone calls, and streaming movies. However, this system does not work when the aircraft passes over large bodies of water. As is the case on the transatlantic route. Back then, you had to rely on satellites to use the internet on airplanes.

There are numerous satellites or artificial satellites orbiting the Earth. Satellite Wi-Fi works with the help of these satellites. In this case, the aircraft communicates with the satellite through a specific antenna on top of the aircraft. The antenna on top of the aircraft communicates with the closest artificial satellite it finds while flying in the sky.

Satellite Wi-Fi works with two types of bandwidth. Narrowband and Broadband. Passengers get full internet service on both types of bandwidth, but narrowband is less useful for streaming movies.

How to use Wi-Fi in airplanes?

If Wi-Fi facility is available in the aircraft, the airline authorities usually inform the passengers about this facility at the time of ticket purchase, boarding and during the flight.

Airplane mode must be enabled on the mobile or device to use this facility. Then go to Wi-Fi settings and find In-Flight Wi-Fi.

However, the Wi-Fi connection may not always be strong enough in flight. Then it may be difficult to access the Internet or stream. Also, some aircraft may not have the necessary antennas for Wi-Fi.

In the future, the Wi-Fi connectivity facility of airplanes is going to be more advanced. As a result, more and more airlines are taking initiatives to introduce Wi-Fi on both domestic and international flights.

Do airplanes have their own Wi-Fi?

Some airlines tout their own brand of Wi-Fi, but that’s not the case. Because in-flight Wi-Fi has to rely on mobile towers or satellites. The aircraft takes advantage of the Internet from the source that is closest to it. Airplanes only serve as hotspots here.

Is airplane Wi-Fi free to use?

It depends on the airlines. Some airlines, such as JetBlue Corporation, offer free Wi-Fi services, which they call Fly-Fi. On the other hand, some airlines offer Wi-Fi services for a fixed fee.

Few airlines offer free Wi-Fi service on their domestic flights. On the other hand, some airlines only allow in-flight Wi-Fi for texting.

Some airlines charge a fixed amount per flight for using Wi-Fi. Others offer free Wi-Fi trial services. Their intention is to make this facility completely free for passengers in the future.


If you plan to use open Wi-Fi while flying, be sure to know the risks and how to use it properly. While it is easy to use the internet while on the plane, sometimes you may have to listen to instructions to turn off the Wi-Fi.

It is hoped that one day Wi-Fi will become commonplace in aviation. However, in-flight Wi-Fi usage rules, connectivity and fees may change.

#Wifi #Aircraft #Technology

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