Update: SIA has now made its complimentary full-flight Wi-Fi trial permanent for Business Class passengers and PPS Club members. See here for details.
Back in August 2022, Singapore Airlines launched a trial service offering complimentary full-flight unlimited Wi-Fi for Business Class passengers on selected aircraft types, a perk previously only available to those travelling in its Suites and First Class cabins.
Those flying in any cabin class on these selected Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft and also holding PPS Club or supplementary PPS Club status have also been benefitting from unlimited Wi-Fi.
This is a great perk many of our readers have been enjoying for the last three months, and the good news is the trial has now been extended further.
All aircraft are now included
For the first three months of the trial there was a snag – not everyone would benefit because the perk was only available on selected aircraft types, with an annoyingly large list of planes not included, comprising:
- 24 Airbus A350 Medium Haul aircraft
- 11 Airbus A380 aircraft
- 10 of the oldest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
- 7 Boeing 737-800 aircraft (which don’t have Wi-Fi)
On these jets, with the exception of the 737-800s that don’t offer Wi-Fi connectivity, the standard 100MB free allowance for Business Class passengers was still enforced… until now that is.
Singapore Airlines has confirmed to Mainly Miles that the complimentary Wi-Fi in Business Class trial is now available on all aircraft, with the exception of the carrier’s seven Boeing 737-800s.
The biggest bonus here is for the A350 MH fleet, with 24 aircraft operating to a wide range of destinations on the network, including all Brisbane and Tokyo Haneda flights, plus most Bangkok, Melbourne and Sydney services.
There will also now be no need to check which specific registration you are flying when travelling on the Boeing 777-300ER fleet, with all those aircraft getting the complimentary allowance.
You can see where Singapore Airlines is flying all its aircraft types across the network at our continually updated summary of Business Class seats by route.
The SIA spokesperson also confirmed to us that “no end date has been confirmed for the trial”, so it continues to be good news for those making year-end trips with the carrier, who can benefit from a complimentary connection in this cabin.
During this extended trial period, complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi is being offered to all Business Class passengers and PPS Club members travelling in Premium Economy or Economy Class.
Here is a summary of the new allowances during the trial, provided to us by Singapore Airlines.
Complimentary Wi-Fi Allowance
|Unlimited free Wi-Fi
Unlimited free Wi-Fi
|Premium Economy /
Unlimited free Wi-Fi
Supplementary PPS Club cardholders also benefit from the PPS Club unlimited allowance, where offered.
Aside from the obviously fantastic benefit for Business Class and PPS Club passengers, the 2-hour surf session for KrisFlyer members is also a nice improvement on the chat session.
That’s because the connection is not ‘optimised’ for text messaging on apps like before, but is an ordinary surf package, allowing full-bandwidth internet use.
Will it become permanent?
This trial has now been running for three months, and of course our hope is that it will become a permanent arrangement for Business Class passengers in due course.
This will depend on the results of the trial, with Singapore Airlines telling us:
Boeing 737-800 routes
As mentioned above, the small fleet of seven SIA Boeing 737-800 aircraft are now the only ones not offering Wi-Fi connectivity and therefore not participating in the unlimited connection trial for eligible passengers.
These jets will remain with the airline until their leases expire, between September 2024 and January 2026.
Here’s where you’ll currently find the 737-800 aircraft flying on the network.
- Bali (SQ934/935)
- Kuala Lumpur (SQ114/113)
- Medan (all flights)
- Phuket (all flights)
- Surabaya (SQ926/927/928/929)
- Yangon (all flights)
Don’t confuse the Boeing 737-800 with the Boeing 737-8 MAX, a larger fleet flying more extensively across the SIA network. The MAX aircraft do have Wi-Fi installed, and therefore also benefit from the complimentary trial for Business Class passengers.
It’s just the 737-800s you’ll need to avoid here, which unfortunately is impossible on some routes, like Phuket.
How much does it save?
Once you have used any complimentary Wi-Fi allowance on board a Singapore Airlines flight, the following regular packages are normally available for purchase.
- Chat (2 hours) US$3.99
Optimised for text-only messaging on chat apps, e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, iMessage.
Cannot be paused.
- Pro (100MB) US$9.99
No time limit.
- Premium (200MB) US$15.99
No time limit.
- Surf (3 hours) US$15.99
No data limit, cannot be paused.
These costs can soon add up, particularly for data-intensive users on long flights, which is why the unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi deal for First Class and Suites passengers was always such a useful perk.
It’s great that this is currently extended to Business Class, temporarily at least, and that it’s now rolled out on all Wi-Fi equipped aircraft.
While it is not mentioned on the Singapore Airlines website at this stage, recently we noticed that the paid Wi-Fi packages on some aircraft have been simplified into three time-based packages:
- 1 hour US$3.99
1 hour of continuous Wi-Fi access. Countdown begins after payment and will expire after the time limit is up, regardless of usage. Plan cannot be paused.
- 3 hours US$8.99
3 hours of continuous Wi-Fi access. Countdown begins after payment and will expire after the time limit is up, regardless of usage. Plan cannot be paused.
- Full Flight US$15.99
Unlimited connection for the entire flight.
It will be interesting to see whether these paid options for those without unlimited access are set to become the norm after the trial has concluded. The “Full Flight” option could be particularly useful to those without any complimentary access, but still need to remain productive during their journey.
How’s the speed?
It’s not possible to definitively say what speed you will get when browsing the web on board a Singapore Airlines Wi-Fi equipped aircraft. Numerous factors such as atmospheric conditions, altitude, location, passenger usage or even what device you use will affect the end-user experience.
The limitations for each system are based on the satellite bandwidth they respectively use. For SITA On-Air it’s KA band and 864 kbit/s (per channel). For Panasonic, it’s KU band and 12 mbps (although it can go much higher).
We’ve tested the Panasonic system more extensively, with some good results:
- A350 LH: 3.71 Mbps download / 2.15 Mbps upload
- “New” A380 Jan 18: 8.62 Mbps download / 2.30 Mbps upload
- “New” A380 Mar 18: 6.72 Mbps download / 2.02 Mbps upload
- 777-300ER Oct 19: 5.7 Mbps download / 2.2 Mbps upload
- 777-300ER Aug 22: 5.1 Mbps download / 1.0 Mbps upload
- 787-10: 4.46 Mbps download / 1.66 Mbps upload
These should be more than enough to satisfy your airborne data needs.
Of course, additional passenger use from unlimited packages could slow the system down further, so this is likely something SIA will be monitoring (along with the cost of this new generosity!), during the trial.
Singapore Airlines has extended its complimentary full-flight Wi-Fi trial for Business Class and PPS Club passengers, now offering the perk across its entire aircraft fleet, with the understandable exception of the seven Boeing 737-800s that don’t have a Wi-Fi antenna on the roof!
This will make a big difference with 24 Airbus A350 Medium Haul aircraft, used extensively across the network especially to and from Australia, now included.
10 older Boeing 777-300ERs are now also signed up, as are the carrier’s 11 A380 superjumbos.
It’s great news for those who need to remain connected and don’t want to fork out for one of the paid access packages, once their 100MB allowance had expired.
The trial continues to have no confirmed end date, so should at least be in place throughout the upcoming year-end peak holiday period.
Let’s hope the airline is happy with the results of the experiment, and that complimentary Wi-Fi in Business Class can become a permanent fleet-wide fixture. In the meantime, make the most of it while you can!
(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)