A new report from fare search website Routehappy
reveals when flyers are most likely to get WiFi on a flight and what flights deliver the most WiFi value.
Overall, flyers can expect to find WiFi on 38% of domestic flights, according to Routehappy. The airlines with the most WiFi-equipped aircraft are Delta, Southwest and US Airways. Two airlines, AirTran Airways and Virgin America, have 100% of their fleets WiFi-enabled.
The top three routes with the most WiFi-connected flights are Los Angeles-San Francisco, L.A.-New York Kennedy and Atlanta-Orlando. However, there are some caveats with this. The L.A.-San Francisco routes may have the most flights with WiFi, but 30% of the flights on those routes do not have it.
And the fact that 80% of flights between L.A. and Kennedy have WiFi means that 20% of flights don't, so travelers who find it necessary to be online while in flight must check to see if their flights have WiFi.
Routehappy evaluated which flights give flyers their best value on WiFi. These are on flights of at least 500 miles, since these flights offer at least an hour of online time, and flights of over 2,000 miles on aircraft with in-seat power, because these are flights of four hours or more, so travelers need to charge their laptops.
In-seat power is important, and Routehappy's report said that, in economy, 100% of Virgin America flights and all United Premium Service flights with WiFi have power. Most American Airlines flights with WiFi also have power.
When flying overseas, there's less WiFi; just 6.5% of international flights from the U.S. have full-flight connectivity, but more airlines are adding WiFi to their international fleets. Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly.