Free in-flight wifi?

Old Jul 9, 21, 8:25 am
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Free in-flight wifi?

I'm flying today on a 739 and was pleasantly surprised to find free wifi. Is this a one-off, or did I miss the memo? I recall rumblings about this a year or two ago. No other plans were available. Download speed of 42 Mbps.

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Old Jul 9, 21, 8:28 am
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What route? Iíve seen it before on overwater routes where wi-fi is not available for most of the flight.

But UA will unveil free messaging next week. It may be related.
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Old Jul 9, 21, 9:12 am
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There was discussion a couple years ago that free wifi would be coming "soon" (ish).

UA Free WiFi Starting sometime in 2020???

That included some reports of what seemed to be one-off offerings of free in flight wifi.
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Old Jul 9, 21, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
What route? Iíve seen it before on overwater routes where wi-fi is not available for most of the flight.

But UA will unveil free messaging next week. It may be related.
ORD-SFO. Good to know about the free messaging coming up.
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Old Jul 9, 21, 12:33 pm
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I had not heard anything about this but wonder if it's testing to see how much bandwidth is used when internet is free?
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Old Jul 9, 21, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
There was discussion a couple years ago that free wifi would be coming "soon" (ish).

UA Free WiFi Starting sometime in 2020???

That included some reports of what seemed to be one-off offerings of free in flight wifi.
IIRC that was with a planned overhaul of the wifi systems to one that can handle more bandwidth, the viaSatKA. As far as I know the current KA/KU systems can't handle an entire plane surfing the web.
Then COVID came.
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Old Jul 9, 21, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
I had not heard anything about this but wonder if it's testing to see how much bandwidth is used when internet is free?
bingo.
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Old Jul 9, 21, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
bingo.
Not a great proof point though if it's not advertised... I think OP may have been on my flight (UA2645, FlytheTail ?) If so it was on the Thales platform to the extent that's indicative of anything.
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Old Jul 9, 21, 4:44 pm
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Now all United has to do is travel back in time to 2013, and they'll really have B6 looking over their shoulder!
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Old Jul 9, 21, 4:46 pm
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Had free WiFi on flight 2603 SFO-EWR on Wed July 7
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Old Jul 9, 21, 5:04 pm
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Is UA Headed to Two Tier WiFi?

Can't help but notice that screen shot which OP shared showed "Basic" as "Free". While similar previous screens have also labeled UA's WiFi service as "Basic", I'm wondering if the transition to the new faster WiFi which was announced as coming with new aircraft (and eventually retrofiited to existing aircraft) will come in two flavors -- Basic for Free and Enhanced for a Fee (where streaming video and audio require Enhanced WiFi for a Fee).
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Old Jul 9, 21, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by YRKInsider View Post
Can't help but notice that screen shot which OP shared showed "Basic" as "Free". While similar previous screens have also labeled UA's WiFi service as "Basic", I'm wondering if the transition to the new faster WiFi which was announced as coming with new aircraft (and eventually retrofiited to existing aircraft) will come in two flavors -- Basic for Free and Enhanced for a Fee (where streaming video and audio require Enhanced WiFi for a Fee).
That would be fine with me and seems fair, although actually I don't mind no free wifi at all.
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Old Jul 27, 21, 2:06 pm
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Flew PDX -SFO this morning. WiFi by ViaSat. Can confirm 3 WiFi options.


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