In the battle of the super-budget airlines, low fares can mean costly checked baggage, stiff seating and generally cruddy customer service. But one thing’s almost certain: if you’re paying less than $50 for a ticket, don’t expect Wi-Fi on your flight. Well, maybe except on one carrier soon.

US-based Spirit has announced that it has partnered with satellite internet provider Thales to launch Wi-Fi service on all of its planes by summer 2019.

It will utilize Ka-band spectrum from Thales’s existing network to provide speedy throughput on 97 percent of its routes. Spirit will also be able to take advantage of a new satellite dedicated to Ka-band beaming, scheduled to launch in 2021. Specifics on customer pricing are vague with Spirit mentioning demand- and route-based pricing with an average base price of around $6.50.

Many US airlines rely on Gogo, which uses a mix of slower technologies such as air-to-ground and Ku-band satellite — it costs $7 for one hour’s use, though T-Mobile customers get a free hour just by entering their phone number. Mid-size budget carrier JetBlue relies on Ka-band satellites from Thales and Viasat for its free “Fly-Fi” service.

As mainstream carriers attempt to appeal to the penny-pinching crowds with lower fares and fewer amenities, will Spirit’s move put a counter against them? Perhaps, but other ultra-low-cost players may bite.

You May Also Like
Honor X10 Max 5G
HONOR X10 Max 5G with 7-inch display, Dimensity 800 SoC launched in China
The HONOR X10 Max 5G comes with an RGBW panel instead of the traditional RGB.
Honor X10 Max 5G
HONOR X10 Max 5G price leaked ahead of launch
Its price could start at 2,299 Yuan (~$325).
Apple’s latest MacBook Air and more devices are on sale today
Today’s deals come from Amazon and B&H where we find Apple’s latest MacBook Air, HP Chromebooks, the Moto Action One and more