Inflight Internet access can be horridly expensive, but you can escape those sky-high costs by taking out a global WiFi subscription which unlocks unlimited Internet aboard 28 airlines from just $15 per month.
That's right: your connection is unlimited when it comes to both how long you spend online and how much data you use.
This deal covers the following airlines which ply the Australian skies:
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific (Airbus A350 flights)
- Etihad Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Malindo Air (Boeing 737-900ER flights only)
- Singapore Airlines (Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A350 and A380 flights only);
- and United (‘selected flights’, eventually to be 'all flights').
Other international airlines covered include Qantas partners Aer Lingus, Airberlin, Alaska Airlines and WestJet, and Virgin Australia partners Air Canada (North American flights only), Alitalia, Hainan Airlines, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic.
Rounding out the list: Aero Mexico, Air Austral, Air Serbia, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, GOL Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Level, Lufthansa and SWISS.
How does it work?
It's a simple two-step process.
1. Subscribe to the ‘CPHTravelWiFi’ service provided by Copenhagen Airports – which can be done online, without visiting Denmark;
2. Download a WiFi app for your smartphone or tablet, or a desktop program for Windows or Mac laptops, which gets you connected above the clouds.
While this provides Internet connectivity if you happen to visit Copenhagen Airport itself, the monthly subscription also unlocks access to over 60 million WiFi hotspots globally at no extra charge, including at over 780 other airports, on over 800 trains, at 90,000 hotels and at 50 million business and community locations.
In turn – and here's the real power of this package for the business traveller – the same subscription also gives unlimited access to inflight Internet aboard over 2,700 aircraft from the airlines listed above, via roaming partner iPass – although there's no 'roaming' fee added to your monthly subscription.
You can find out more on the CPHTravelWiFi website, although you may need to change the language to English (click in the top right corner).
CPHTravelWiFi subscription pricing
Four plans are available as follows, which Copenhagen Airports prices in Danish krone.
- One month pass: DKK109.50 (A$22.05)
- Two month pass: DKK199 (A$40.05, being A$20.03/month)
- Three month pass: DKK265.50 (A$53.50, or A$17.84/month)
- Six month pass: DKK465 (A$93.60, or A$15.60/month)
As you can see, the longer you subscribe, the lower the monthly cost – the best value being the six month pass which works out to be just A$15.60 per month.
That said, even the A$22.05 one-month pass still presents good value, being about the same cost as connecting to a full-priced service on just one flight, but giving you the chance to log-in across multiple flights and airlines, and of course, to test the service before committing to a longer plan.
Just head to the CPHTravelWiFi website, select your plan, create an account using your name, email address and a password, and then complete your credit card billing information. You can choose to be charged in euros rather than Danish krone, but the Australian dollar cost remains roughly the same:
Unfortunately, the service doesn’t accept American Express or Diners Club cards – only Visa and Mastercard – but the savings to be had on your inflight Internet costs should more than outweigh earning fewer points on this purchase.
Before submitting your payment, be aware that the ‘auto renew’ box is automatically checked: you might choose to leave this so if you’re purchasing a longer plan, but if you’re trying the service for one month only before considering a better-value plan, uncheck this box so you won’t be auto-billed again next month.
If you do decide to change or cancel your subscription, this can also be done through the Account section of the same website.
Getting connected in the air
To get your Windows or Mac laptop connected, follow the instructions in the email you receive when activating your subscription, or visit the Account area of the CPHTravelWiFi website to get started.
Regardless of the device you’re using, you’ll need to do this before your flight while you still have Internet access somewhere else, such as at home, in the office or the airport lounge, so that you can login to the app using the account details you created earlier.
Once the app ‘knows it’s you’, you’re clear to switch your device to flight mode, and once WiFi connectivity becomes available on your flight (usually above 10,000 feet), enable WiFi on your gadget while leaving flight mode active, and then open the CPHTravelWiFi app.
The app will then recognise that you have a valid subscription and that a participating WiFi network is available: click on the prompt, and before you know it, you’ll be online – no credit card or further login required!
If you’re having any difficulty, you can also try connecting to the inflight WiFi network manually in the usual way, before returning to the app and following the prompts to get online.
To top it all off, all four subscription types allow you to connect up to three devices at a time to the Internet: so one subscription could find your smartphone, laptop and tablet all connected to inflight WiFi simultaneously: you don’t have to toggle between them as would when purchasing inflight WiFi the ‘traditional’ way!