Hawaiian Airlines to offer free, high-speed internet

Hawaiian Airlines passengers will soon be able to surf the internet at 30,000 feet.

For years, Hawaiian has not offered Wi-Fi service on board any of its aircraft. It eschewed plans to add inflight connectivity before because the airline said the technology for flights over the Pacific was spotty.

On Monday, Hawaiian announced it has become the first major airline to team up with Starlink to provide high-speed broadband internet access to all guests aboard flights between the Hawaiian Islands and the continental U.S., Asia and Oceania.

“When we launch with Starlink we will have the best connectivity experience available in the air,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram in a press release. “We waited until technology caught up with our high standards for guest experience, but it will be worth the wait. Our guests can look forward to fast, seamless and free Wi-Fi to complement our award-winning onboard Hawaiian hospitality.”

Starlink’s low-Earth orbit satellites utilize a laser mesh network, which Hawaiian said ensured “reliable, high-speed, low-latency connectivity on transpacific flights.”

The complimentary Wi-Fi will allow guests to stream content, play games, work or plan their Hawaii vacation.

Guests will be able to connect immediately when they board the aircraft. 

“Hawaiian Airlines is ensuring its passengers will experience high-speed internet the way we expect it in the 21st century, making hassles like downloading movies before takeoff a relic of the past,” said SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales Jonathan Hofeller. “With Starlink, the inflight experience is greatly simplified so that once passengers step onboard the plane the internet works seamlessly throughout their flight. Soon, passengers will enjoy all the benefits of having the world’s best inflight internet connectivity from the comfort of their seats.”

Hawaiian plans to deploy its Airbus A330 and A321neo planes, as well as its incoming fleet of Boeing 787-9s, with the Starlink satellite internet service. It does not plan to equip its Boeing 717 aircraft that handle the short hop flights between the neighboring islands.

The companies plan to install the service on select aircraft next year, Hawaiian said.

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