April 18, 2018

Do all private jets have Wi-Fi?

The privacy and space in a private jet cabin gives more options for how to use your time. And many customers enjoy the opportunity to switch off for some of the flight – as they can sleep and relax much more easily than in an airline seat.

But expectations are getting higher and higher when they want to switch back on again. And just as on the ground, customer demand for Wi-Fi connectivity in the air is increasing rapidly.

At PrivateFly, many of our customers are early tech adopters and for longer flights would like to enjoy their own unique cabin experience, using their own devices, apps and mobile content on board – whether to stay up-to-date with business critical information, stay entertained or to remain in constant contact with team or family members.

This is possible, but not (yet) on all aircraft, and it can come at a high cost. But things are changing rapidly and availability is starting to catch up with expectations.

In Europe, service is primarily satellite-based as there isn’t yet a single ground-based solution, unlike in the mainly-domestic US market. So airborne Wi-Fi is often included free to passengers in the US, using lower cost ground-based technology.

In Europe it is much more expensive for both the aircraft’s operator to install and maintain, and for the customer to access. So Wi-Fi is usually charged as an extra where available (and currently this is mostly on large cabin or long range jets).

When chartering a jet with Wi-Fi, it’s important to ask about how data is billed at the booking stage. At PrivateFly, we can arrange fixed costs on certain aircraft, so that is very worthwhile.

If costs are charged on a metered basis, big bills can mount up when tablets and PCs perform software updates, burning up MBs of data unnecessarily. So for family flights in particular, our top tip is to get your children to switch off auto updates before you take off, and to download movies before a flight! Thankfully with this potential for high costs, some of the smarter systems now have limits and filters to stop wasted usage.

The good news is that change is on the data horizon in Europe. We have US companies spying the opportunity in Europe to offer lower cost, high performance solutions to the industry (Gogo is one company to look out for). So Wi-Fi options will only continue to improve for customers flying in Europe.

Contact our Flight Team experts about your connectivity requirements on your next flight. We’re available (24/7) on +44 (0)20 7100 6960.

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