Many T-Mobile customers can soon get inflight Wi-Fi on four major U.S. airlines.
This week, T-Mobile and United Airlines announced a deal allowing travelers with Magenta or Magenta Max phone plans access to free inflight Wi-Fi on select domestic and short international flights. United joins Alaska, American, and Delta – all of which already had deals for free Wi-Fi with T-Mobile customers in place.
United says T-Mobile free Wi-Fi will be available on customers' mobile devices when flying United 737s, select 757-300s, and select A319s. The free Wi-Fi option is expected to take flight starting Oct. 15.
T-Mobile customers with Magenta plans will get access to four free Wi-Fi flights a year, including streaming-level speeds, T-Mobile said. Plus, they get an hour of Wi-Fi and streaming on all additional flights, along with unlimited messaging, which has become the norm on mainline U.S. carriers.
Those with Magenta MAX plans will get unlimited, streaming-level inflight Wi-Fi and texting. As is the case with all other carriers, this free Wi-Fi option via T-Mobile is only available on mobile devices – not laptops.
The United agreement will begin this fall on all United domestic and international flights. United Express-operated flights will be a little bit slower to adopt the T-Mobile free Wi-Fi, but the airline said it's coming soon.
Even with free Wi-Fi only available on select flights – and only on mobile devices – the savings can be substantial. On United flights, Wi-Fi starts typically at $8 for MileagePlus members and $10 for non-members on all flights.
T-Mobile has built out an impressive list of airline partners to offer free inflight Wi-Fi, but that has taken a hit recently. In its quest to provide free inflight Wi-Fi to all, Delta has pivoted to using a different connectivity operator – one that doesn't partner with T-Mobile. Getting free Wi-Fi on American Airlines flights via T-Mobile is hit or miss, too.
JetBlue remains the only carrier that offers free inflight Wi-Fi today. It's been a pillar of their service since the airline's launch.
With the addition of United Airlines to its free Wi-Fi offerings on select plans, T-Mobile could become the frequent flyer's wireless carrier.
Now, T-Mobile Magenta plan customers have access to free inflight Wi-Fi on some (but not all) Alaska, American, Delta, and United Airlines flights.