Hawaiian Airlines adds Starlink Wi-Fi to its jets

If you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, you may soon have access to fast, free Wi-Fi via Elon Musk’s Starlink technology. Hawaiian Airlines debuted its new high-speed internet technology service Thursday on an Airbus A321neo flight from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Long Beach Airport (LGB) in California. It’s a milestone for the carrier, coming nearly two years after it first announced plans to bring the satellite-based, high-speed broadband service to its fleet of transpacific aircraft.

Hawaiian Airlines is the first major airline to deploy Starlink technology, although several other carriers have launched it or have plans to. Hawaiian is starting small as it rolls out Starlink connectivity to its aircraft, but travelers can expect many more of its jets to be outfitted with the technology in the coming months. With Federal Aviation Administration approval to add the technology to its fleet of A321neo aircraft, the carrier says all of its 18 A321neos will be Starlink-equipped later this spring. Then, Hawaiian plans to add the technology to its Airbus A330 jets, which should be activated by the end of the year. Ultimately, the company hopes to deploy the service across its entire transpacific fleet.

To know if your aircraft is equipped with Starlink, look for the Starlink decal on the side of the plane as you board. Hawaiian says as the rollout happens, Wi-Fi availability will just be a nice “surprise and delight” you’ll find as you board.

The best part of Hawaiian’s new Starlink Wi-Fi is that it will be available for free. The airline plans to make it accessible without navigating any registration or landing pages. The service will be available from the moment you step onboard, with no waiting until the aircraft passes 10,000 feet. If your aircraft is equipped, search for the “Starlink WiFi on Hawaiian Air” network and connect. You’ll be able to connect as many devices as you want, and the service should be sufficient for streaming videos, shows, and movies.

Hawaiian Airlines’ partnership with Starlink is a significant step forward in improving in-flight connectivity for passengers. In the past, many airlines have struggled to provide reliable and fast Wi-Fi service during flights. Hawaiian’s deployment of Starlink technology will ensure that passengers have a seamless and uninterrupted internet experience throughout their journey.

Hawaiian Airlines is not the only airline offering free Wi-Fi to customers. JetBlue has been providing free Wi-Fi service for years, and Delta Air Lines recently rolled out free Wi-Fi access to its network. Unlike Delta, Hawaiian Airlines does not require a loyalty account to access the service. However, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines still charge customers for browsing the internet during flights.

In addition to Hawaiian Airlines, other airlines have also expressed interest in partnering with Starlink to provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi service. Qatar Airways announced plans last fall to add Starlink technology to its aircraft, and Air New Zealand intends to do the same on domestic flights.

Overall, the introduction of Starlink technology on Hawaiian Airlines flights is a significant development for passengers traveling between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. The availability of fast and free Wi-Fi will greatly enhance the in-flight experience and allow passengers to stay connected throughout their journey. As more airlines adopt this technology, we can expect to see a significant improvement in in-flight connectivity worldwide.

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