Singapore Airlines in-flight Wi-Fi guide

Our summary of the in-flight Wi-Fi connection options and pricing on Singapore Airlines flights.

Most Singapore Airlines aircraft are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi functionality, with some complimentary access packages for those travelling in specific cabin classes and for PPS Club and KrisFlyer members.

Our continually updated guide has all the information you need.

Updated: 16th February 2021

Complimentary access plans

All Singapore Airlines wide-body aircraft are Wi-Fi equipped. The following complimentary access packages are available.

Free Wi-Fi allowance
(Wide-body aircraft)
Travel
Class
FFP Status
Not KF/PPS KrisFlyer PPS Club*
Suites^             Unlimited            
First^
Business                100MB               
Premium Economy None 30MB 100MB
Economy

* Includes supplementary PPS Club cardholders
^ Cabin class not currently being offered for sale

The cabin class allowance is irrespective of whether you made a redemption, cash booking, or upgraded from another cabin class.

In other words if you find yourself sitting in Suites or First Class on one of the newer A380s or 777-300ERs, even if you are lucky enough to be upgraded at the gate, you’ll get unlimited Wi-Fi during your flight.

Passengers upgraded to Business Class will similarly be entitled to the 100MB free access allowance on the newer planes even if their original ticket was in Economy or Premium Economy class.

Man on Laptop (Singapore Airlines)
The seat you end up sat in determines your Wi-Fi allowance, so even operational upgrades at the gate will receive 100MB in Business Class on the new A380s, for example. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Complimentary allowances do not ‘stack’, so a PPS Club member travelling in Business Class will get a 100MB free allowance like the other passengers in this cabin, not 200MB.

Complimentary data allowances apply per flight sector, so if you’re flying for example from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo Narita in Business Class, you’ll get 100MB on the first flight then a fresh 100MB for the second leg of the journey too.

Paid access plans

Once your complimentary allowances are used up, the following harmonised pricing structure applies for Wi-Fi access on board all Singapore Airlines wide-body aircraft.

Wi-Fi pricing
(Wide-body aircraft)
Plan Price
Chat (30MB)
Valid for 2 hours only
US$3.99
(US$0.13/MB)
Pro (100MB)
Full flight
US$9.99
(US$0.10/MB)
Premium (200MB)
Full flight
US$15.99
(US$0.08/MB)

Note that Wi-Fi pricing is per flight sector, so you cannot carry unused data from a purchased Wi-Fi package onto a subsequent flight, even on the same day.

For some reason, there were only two purchase options available last time we flew on the Airbus A350 Regional aircraft in August 2019, though we’ll get more data points on this in future as it may have been updated.

Wi-Fi A350R.jpg
A350 Regional Wi-Fi price plan at August 2019

Here are the pricing options you should normally see on board:

WiFi SNA.jpg
Connection options on 9V-SNA flying from Auckland to Singapore on 3rd August. (Image: The Shutterwhale)

Wi-Fi exception: Boeing 737-800s

Unfortunately, Singapore Airlines Boeing 737-800s, which the carrier inherited during its merger with SilkAir, do not (and will not) have any Wi-Fi capability installed.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 737-800. (Photo: Plane’s Portrait Aviation Media / Malcolm Lu)

These aircraft are generally used on shorter flights, so the lack of internet shouldn’t cause a significant inconvenience.

The Boeing 737 MAX will have Wi-Fi

Good news is that Singapore Airlines confirmed to us that its forthcoming Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, also coming across from SilkAir in addition to new deliveries from Boeing over the coming years, will offer in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity.

“Connectivity services will be available on board the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.”

SIA spokesperson

Eventually these aircraft are likely to replace the older Boeing 737-800s, so there should be a 100% Wi-Fi connected fleet at some point in the future.

Pricing plans and complimentary access packages for this aircraft have not yet been revealed, however we expect they will align with the wide-body fleet.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. (Photo: Joe G. Walker)

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft remain grounded in Singapore, however following fixes they are being progressively approved to re-enter service worldwide, including in the USA, South America and Europe, so it shouldn’t be too long before we see them in service with SIA.

Wi-Fi will be an important inclusion on the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX 8, which will have flat-bed seats in Business Class and a 7-hour range, potentially including city pairs like Singapore – Seoul and Singapore – Adelaide in their future network.

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.

Inmarsat
(Image: Inmarsat)

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: 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
  • New 777-300ER Oct 19: 5.7 Mbps download / 2.2 Mbps upload
  • 787-10: 4.46 Mbps download / 1.66 Mbps upload

These should be more than enough to satisfy your airborne data needs.

The older A380s fitted with SITA’s OnAir system are notoriously slow and unreliable – but it is worth remembering that this technology is nearly 11 years old (since fitment) and back then onboard Wi-Fi hardware was very much in its infancy.

You only have to look at the difference in the size of the satellite antenna on SIA’s new and refitted A380s compared with the old ones to tell how much has changed about the technology in the last decade.

Connection issues

A common complaint for in-flight internet is that it works flawlessly for a while, then suddenly stops working for maybe 10 (frustrating) minutes before finally re-connecting. Remember, this is not like the internet in your home or office.

As an aircraft moves across the globe, the line-of-sight from the receiver on the aircraft roof to the satellite in space becomes more distant and the system automatically identifies a new closer satellite to connect to. A physical dish inside the satellite receiver (the hump on the aircraft roof) then needs to rotate, align and establish a new connection with another satellite, high above the earth.

This process can take several minutes. Our advice: be patient, order another glass of Champagne and remember where you are!

Mobile data options

The three major telcos in Singapore continue to offer unlimited data packages for use with the Singapore Airlines onboard Wi-Fi. If you’re flying on an equipped aircraft, available options are as follows:

S$29 S$25 S$25
Valid for 24 hours from activation. Valid for up to 24 hours, from 00:00 Singapore Time on the day of activation (GMT+8).

These are expensive options, but remember the onboard Wi-Fi options are not unlimited and are priced in US$ (so you need to multiply by at least 1.3x), so they start to look like more reasonable alternatives for heavy data users.

The packages also cover multiple flights within your subscription window, so if you are taking two flights within 24 hours, you will be connected on both of them for a single fee.

Pro Tip: Note that with the StarHub and M1 packages, the unlimited date allowance will reset at midnight Singapore time, wherever you are in the world, which could mean being charged twice if you’re not careful.

The connection and usage instructions for mobile data connections are available on the Singapore Airlines website here.

Some Boingo packages, such as those you get with the Citi Prestige card, also allow access on selected Singapore Airlines aircraft. This does tend to vary however, and it isn’t totally reliable in our experience.

Summary

Singapore Airlines Wi-Fi pricing starts at just US$3.99, up to US$15.99 for a 200MB allowance, and is available on all wide-body aircraft.

While Boeing 737-800s will not be Wi-Fi equipped during their service with the airline, upcoming Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will have the function installed, so there’s an ultimate aim for 100% fleet-wide connectivity at some point in the future.

The free data allowance for KrisFlyer members in Economy and Premium Economy Class starts at 30MB, however Business Class and PPS Club holders get a 100MB complimentary allowance.

First Class and Suites passengers get an unlimited data plan on board.

(Cover Photo: Joi Ito)

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