Monthly Airplane Wi-Fi Reliability Report Card: August 2019

This is my eighth month recording my airplane Wi-Fi stats during my business and leisure travel.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, reliable airplane Wi-Fi is the most important element for me on a business flight.

Here’s how the year has shaped up so far:

August 2019 Wi-Fi Scorecard

United Airlines: 5 working flights out of 6 (83%)

This is the second month in a row where over 50% of my United flights have had working Wi-Fi.  As is often the case, I had some small chunks of downtime.  Since I generally focus on e-mail and the occasional blog post, a crappy connection still works out okay for me.  Folks who try to do more than that probably wouldn’t have been as positive as me.

YTD Stats:

United Airlines: 31 working flights out of 53 (58%)

Southwest Airlines: 1 working flight out of 2 (50%)

Air Canada: 2 working flight out of 2 (100%)

Delta Air Lines: 5 working flight out of 5 (100%)

American Airlines: 5 working flights out of 6 (83%)

Alaska Airlines: o working flights out of 1 (0%)

Private Plane: 2 working flights out of 2 (100%)

Qantas: 1 working flight out of 1 (100%)

Total: 47 working flights out of 72 (65%)

The Final Two Pennies

July and August were big improvements for United when it came to Wi-Fi.  That being said, I’ve already had one dud flight in September.  So, things aren’t sunshine just yet.  The fact that all other airlines combined have an 84% success rate for my flights shows you how much an outlier United has been through the first 8 months of the year.

We’ve definitely moved away from numbers that would cause me to move my business to a low-cost carrier like Frontier (that doesn’t have Wi-Fi).  I’ve flown Frontier and really don’t mind the in-flight experience, though I do recommend the extra legroom seats for the full-sized tray table to work on.  They don’t have any plans to add Wi-Fi to their planes, the single biggest reason I don’t fly them more often.  Even with two solid months on United, my success rate in 2019 is 558%.  53 flights on United is a pretty decent sample size.  I’ll surely hope the trend continues upwards.

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