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 members.

Our continually updated guide has all the information you need.

Updated: 19th November 2019

Complimentary access plans

If you’re flying on a Wi-Fi equipped aircraft, the following complimentary access packages are available.

Newer Wi-Fi systems
Aircraft: 787-10 (all)
777-300ER (9V-SWA, SWE, SWI to SWM, SWO to SWQ, SWS, SWU to -SWZ & -SNA to SNC)
A350 (all)
A380 (9V-SKS & -SKU to -SKZ)
Class Not PPS Club PPS Club*
Suites Unlimited
First
Business 100MB
Premium Economy Cross 100MB
Economy Cross

* including supplementary cardholders

The complimentary allowance for First Class / Suites passengers and 100MB allowance for Business Class / PPS Club members is only on aircraft with the newer inflight connectivity systems. Older aircraft will undergo retrofit in due course, as shown below.

Older Wi-Fi systems
Aircraft: 777-300ER (9V-SWA to -SWD, SWF to SWH, SWN, SWR, SWT)
A380 (9V-SKA to -SKR & -SKT)
Class Not PPS Club PPS Club*
Suites 100MB
First
Business 30MB
Premium Economy Cross 30MB
Economy Cross

* including supplementary cardholders

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

We think it is unusual that PPS Club members are given no additional data allowance flying Business Class compared with Economy or Premium Economy Class. In our opinion, PPS Club members in Business Class should be entitled to 200MB free data allowance on newer aircraft or 60MB on older aircraft, however the allowances do not ‘stack’ this way.

Complimentary data allowances apply per sector, so if you’re flying for example from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo Narita in Business Class on an aircraft with the newer Wi-Fi system, you’ll get 100MB on the first flight then a fresh 100MB for the second one too.

On the same routing with an older plane (since the 777-300ER still comes in two ‘Wi-Fi varieties’), it’ll be 30MB for the first flight then another 30MB for the second one.

Older and newer Wi-Fi on the 777-300ERs

Here’s how the older (SBB) and newer (GX Aviation or Panasonic) Wi-Fi systems are currently distributed across the Boeing 777-300ER fleet. You’ll need to be flying on a GX-equipped aircraft to receive the higher data allowances, which also provide a faster experience.

Singapore Airlines 777-300ER
Wi-Fi Systems
(at 19th November 2019)
Aircraft Wi-Fi System Aircraft Wi-Fi System
9V-SWA GX (New) 9V-SWP GX (New)
9V-SWB SBB (Old) 9V-SWQ GX (New)
9V-SWD SBB (Old) 9V-SWR SBB (Old)
9V-SWE GX (New) 9V-SWS GX (New)
9V-SWF SBB (Old) 9V-SWT SBB (Old)
9V-SWG SBB (Old) 9V-SWU Panasonic (New)
9V-SWH SBB (Old) 9V-SWV Panasonic (New)
9V-SWI GX (New) 9V-SWW Panasonic (New)
9V-SWJ GX (New) 9V-SWY Panasonic (New)
9V-SWK GX (New) 9V-SWZ Panasonic (New)
9V-SWL GX (New) 9V-SNA Panasonic (New)
9V-SWM GX (New) 9V-SNB Panasonic (New)
9V-SWN SBB (Old) 9V-SNC Panasonic (New)
9V-SWO GX (New)

Paid access plans

If you’re paying for access, prices are largely harmonised across the fleet. This is the current Wi-Fi pricing schedule for each Singapore Airlines aircraft type, effective since August 2019 and correct at October 2019:

Airbus A330
9V-SS* and -ST* aircraft
Cross Not Wi-Fi equipped
Airbus A350 Regional
9V-SH* aircraft
2 hours
(25MB limit)
Full flight
(100MB limit)
US$3.99
($0.16/MB)
US$9.99
($0.10/MB)

For some reason there are only two purchase options on the A350 Regional aircraft.

Wi-Fi A350R.jpg
A350 Regional Wi-Fi price plan at August 2019
Airbus A350 Long-haul & ULR
9V-SG*, -SM* and -SJ* aircraft
2 hours
(30MB limit)
Full flight
(100MB limit)
Full flight
(200MB limit)
US$3.99
($0.13/MB)
US$9.99
($0.10/MB)
US$15.99
($0.08/MB)
Airbus A380 (all)
2 hours
(30MB limit)
Full flight
(100MB limit)
Full flight
(200MB limit)
US$3.99
($0.13/MB)
US$9.99
($0.10/MB)
US$15.99
($0.08/MB)

Note that the older A380 Version 1 & Version 2 aircraft (9V-SKA to -SWR & -SWT) previously had different Wi-Fi options available. These aircraft still have the older (and slower) SITA system, but the pricing has been harmonised with the newer aircraft.

Only the complimentary allowances are affected for A380 aircraft with the older system (see tables above).

Boeing 777-200 / -200ER
9V-SQ*, -SR* -SV* aircraft
Cross Not Wi-Fi equipped
Boeing 777-300
9V-SY* aircraft
Cross Not Wi-Fi equipped
Boeing 777-300ER (all)
2 hours
(30MB limit)
Full flight
(100MB limit)
Full flight
(200MB limit)
US$3.99
($0.13/MB)
US$9.99
($0.10/MB)
US$15.99
($0.08/MB)

Note that the older 777-300ER aircraft (9V-SWA to -SWT) originally had different Wi-Fi options available. Some of these aircraft still have the older (and slower) SITA system, but the pricing has been harmonised with the newer aircraft. Check the table above to see which aircraft still have the older system.

Here’s an example of how the in-flight Wi-Fi access options look on the aircraft still fitted with the SwiftBroadband (SBB) system:

WiFi SWT.jpg
Connection options on 9V-SWT flying from Auckland to Singapore on 6th August 2019 (thank you Ben!)

This matches the pricing options offered on a newer aircraft with the GX Aviation system.

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

That means no more guessing which data package pricing will be available when you fly on the 777-300ER in future. Only the complimentary allowances are affected for 777-300ER aircraft with the older system (see tables above).

Boeing 787-10 (all)
2 hours
(30MB limit)
Full flight
(100MB limit)
Full flight
(200MB limit)
US$3.99
($0.13/MB)
US$9.99
($0.10/MB)
US$15.99
($0.08/MB)

If you see an inconsistency with any of the above pricing when on board, please let us know and we’ll seek clarification and update.

If you want to know what aircraft type you’ll be flying on, check out our continually updated Business Class Seats by Route page. Since Business Class is fitted to all aircraft types in the fleet, you’ll find every route and flight number on the network there.

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

Currently, the three major telcos in Singapore are offering 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:

  • Singtel – S$29 for 24 hours
  • StarHub / M1 – S$25 per day (midnight to midnight Singapore local time)

These look expensive options (and they are), but remember as the onboard Wi-Fi options are generally not unlimited, and are priced in US$ (so you need to multiply by at least 1.4x), they start to look like more reasonable alternatives.

The connection and usage instructions are available on the Singapore Airlines page 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.

Summary

Singapore Airlines Wi-Fi pricing starting at just US$3.99, up to US$15.99 for a 200MB allowance.

Remember the free data allowances for Business Class and PPS Club holders starts at 30MB, but is a much more useful 100MB on aircraft with the newer Wi-Fi systems. Similarly First Class and Suites passengers now get an unlimited data plan when flying on planes with these newer Wi-Fi installations.

If you still find yourself flying on a non-refitted 777-300ER or A380, the lower complimentary data caps still apply, though these aircraft are being progressively refitted with the newer system.

(Cover Photo: Joi Ito)