Etihad, Why Did You Have To Change Your Wifi Plans?

by Zac George

It’s no secret, I love Etihad. I’ve flown them at least 30 times now and each flight has been great. Overall as an airline, they perform well but lately they’ve been making some decisions for the worse, making it harder for many to see how good of an airline they are.

Cost-cutting isn’t rare, it’s actually very real and happens all of the time in the industry. Some can do it well, some cannot. Etihad have taken a slightly more rapid approach opposed to their ME competition but nothing has been ‘massively’ downgraded. Yes lounge access has been opened up to more people, and the reduction of the chauffeur in every country except the UAE but these aren’t reasons to not choose to fly them. I’m sad to say, they’ve made another choice which is quite a pain and it’s in an area they were on top.

Inflight wifi is becoming the norm nowadays, like it or not – you’ll be seeing it on most aircraft in the next few years, heck even our major Australian carriers Qantas and Virgin are getting it.

Etihad offer inflight wifi on most of their fleet. They use T-Mobile and would offer plans that didn’t have a data cap but rather a time limit. This meant you could use as much data as you wanted for the time of your flight.

The carrier used to offer the following plans, 2 hours for $11.95 USD, 4 hours for $17.95 USD and the whole flight for $21.95 USD.

Here are the new plans:

These were the plans on the flight from Melbourne – Abu Dhabi onboard the A380. I haven’t been able to find out if this is fleet wide or just the A380 but it’s not a good improvement.

$20 USD for 180mb is quite ridiculous and won’t be much benefit to many people. If you want to check social media or emails great but for people wanting to get work done – be prepared to pay big money.

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7 comments

Nic Evans July 20, 2017 - 11:34 pm

It is ridiculous marketing to offer the best first class service in the air (imho) and then to charge for wi-fi – particularly at these extortionate rates. I flew London to Sydney with Etihad last month. I couldnt do work emails in flight – and the WiFi in the Sydney lounge was so slow I couldn’t download a Netflix film in 30 minutes

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Etihad Increases The Cost Of Onboard Wifi - One Mile at a Time July 21, 2017 - 12:16 am

[…] unfortunately it looks like inflight wifi is Etihad’s latest cost cutting source. Points from the Pacific notes that Etihad now charges for wifi based on data usage rather than time, even on their flagship […]

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Wayne July 21, 2017 - 8:35 am

Recent MEL-AUH flight, wifi was only available for 5 of the 14 hours. Supposedly due to the alignment of the sattelites (not convinced on that explanation), rather annoying after being fleeced for your wifi in the first place.

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Dean Dang July 23, 2017 - 9:34 am

Can confirm this same pricing scheme is on the ORD to AUH flights on Etihad. Was very disappointed. Couldn’t even sync work documents before hitting the limit.

What are the other options on other airlines?

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Gianluca Gandelli August 4, 2017 - 1:59 pm

It’s the same on all EY flights. The old wi-fi pricing scheme was by itself the reason to choose EY vs other carriers. What a shame!

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daniel August 13, 2017 - 6:25 am

why do you need to use wifi when flying? why cant you sleep read eat watch a movie or just be dis-connected from the fake on line world? or just sit there in silence and quiet and do nothing?

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Tom January 21, 2018 - 4:08 am

Yes , totally agreed with you. I have been choosen Etihad over its competitors because of WiFi service and been flying with them to get Gold. I’m thinking of give up my Etihad Gold and start again with Emirates

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