Your guide to Emirates inflight WiFi

Here's everything you need to know about staying connected in the clouds on your next Emirates flight.

By Staff Writers, October 3 2023
Your guide to Emirates inflight WiFi

Emirates was one of the first airlines worldwide to make inflight WiFi widely accessible to travellers with enticing $1 plans, although the resulting high number of users often reduced speeds to a snail’s pace.

The carrier has since revamped its onboard internet offerings to offer a higher quality connection. But even if you don’t want to pony up for a plan, there are still ways to keep in touch with colleagues or loved ones for free, onboard just about any Emirates flight.

This Executive Traveller guide to Emirates WiFi has all the information you need to stay up to date with the airline’s inflight internet service. 

Does Emirates have inflight WiFi?

Yes, Emirates offers sky-high WiFi on practically every flight. Both complimentary access and paid plans are available.

Which Emirates flights have WiFi?

Emirates’ whole fleet is outfitted with inflight internet. No matter whether you are travelling on an Airbus A380 or a Boeing 777, you should be able to browse online while at cruising altitude, bar any technical malfunctions or while flying over restricted zones.

Scheduled to enter service in 2024, the Gulf carrier’s latest Airbus A350 aircraft will also feature high-speed internet access, in the form of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network.

How much does Emirates WiFi cost?

Paid WiFi plans on Emirates costs vary depending on your Skywards membership tier, travel class and your route.

As a guide, the available plans are:

  • Unlimited chat: Connect free to all your favourite text apps (WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Line or Viber) for the whole flight
  • WiFi for the whole flight: USD $9.99 (AUD $14.50) - USD $19.99 (AUD $29) depending on the length of the flight
  • Easy connect - available in selected regions: USD $9.99 (AUD $14.50) for 30 minutes with no data limit

Does Emirates have free WiFi?

Yes, Emirates has two forms of free WiFi, though both are only available to Emirates Skywards members.

The first option is free unlimited chat, which allows Emirates Skywards Blue members travelling in business class or Emirates Skywards Gold members travelling in economy to use WhatsApp, Messenger and other text services for free.

For those wanting to access free WiFi for the whole flight, the requirements are as follows: 

  • Passengers travelling in first and business class receive unlimited free WiFi for all Skywards members (Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum)
  • In economy passengers, Skywards Gold and Platinum members only receive unlimited free WiFi

To take advantage of this offer, you must have your Skywards number linked to the booking at least 24 hours before take-off. Onboard, you’ll use your membership number and password to log-in.

How fast is Emirates WiFi?

Emirates WiFi speed depends on various factors, the most significant being the number of users connected at one time. Executive Traveller previously ran speed tests onboard and managed to get downloads of 10Mbps, with uploads of just over 1Mbps. These speeds are perfectly fine for light browsing.

To help judge the current network load, Emirates handily shows the number of people currently connected. A green WiFi icon means speeds should be higher, while a red WiFi icon means speeds may suffer due to the number of people connected.

Do I need the Emirates App to use WiFi?

No, WiFi access onboard is independent of the Emirates App.

How do I access Emirates WiFi?

  • Turn your device into flight mode, then activate WiFi and connect to the OnAir network after takeoff
  • Either login as a Skywards member to see promotions and discounts, or continue as a guest
  • If you’re eligible for unlimited complimentary internet, that option will show up
  • For non-eligible guests, use a card to pay for a WiFi plan

Does Emirates WiFi work during the whole flight?

Not exactly – while Emirates inflight internet will work during most of the flight, there are certain times where the connection won’t be active:

  • When the plane is under 10,000 feet (i.e. just after take-off or before landing)
  • When flying over a restricted geographical location

Can I use my Emirates WiFi allowance across separate flights?

No, Emirates WiFi plans are only valid per flight. If you have connecting flights, you will need to purchase access again for the second flight. 

Can I use my Emirates WiFi allowance across separate devices?

Yes, paid WiFi plans are tied to your personal details. You can log on to a new device and continue your browsing session.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2015

Total posts 10

If I’m travelling business on EK with my QF FF number on m’y booking so I get free wifi?  I do have an EK FF as well but would prefer to keep the points on my Qantas.  

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 7

No. Only EK members of Gold or Platinum status get free wifi. Or if you're flying at the pointy end *AND* the flight is booked under your EK FF. The article doesn't state that (unless that has changed). Just before COVID on one of my last QF ticketed EK flights in First I had to fork out an extra US$16 for flight length wifi.

01 May 2018

Total posts 12

You only get free WIFI if you have Skywards number. I had few redemptions using Qantas points and automatically my Qantas number was linked. Even at the lounge before the flight, they couldn't change to my Skywards number.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Feb 2023

Total posts 2

Travelling to UK with Emirates, Business Class, on an A380. I am a Sywards Blue member. The article mentions having devices in Flight Mode (presumably for phones and iPads), and it mentions video capable connectivity apps like Whatsapp and messenger. But what about a Laptop, with Outlook Email? I would have thought that email programs use much less bandwidth than the video communication apps? Can I do a basic thing like read my emails? Please advise.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Feb 2023

Total posts 2

Hello, travelling Business with Emirates to UK soon. Just checking if I can use a laptop with the free WiFi, to use Outlook client to read emails? I would think that this is less bandwidth than the Whapsapp & Messenger mentioned. Has anyone been able to read emails via their OnAir network? I am a Skywards member by the way.

21 Oct 2019

Total posts 6

It doesn't work when flying over the Indian Ocean either, that is, between Perth and Dubai. Not much point getting it for that leg!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2020

Total posts 22

I have same issue flying on QF codeshare, using QF FF number - cannot access wifi eventhough I also have a EK number - crew know of this anomaly and suggested I write to EK to see if this can be changed.

05 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

Doesn’t work over Indian Ocean. So from Aus to Dubai most of the flight it’s n/a and waste of $$.

Chris / David, would be useful to clarify „ restricted geographical location“


07 Jan 2016

Total posts 18

 I am EK Gold. Recently travelled SYD FCO EK Biz with QFF number associated to the ticket. Paid for internet on my 1st leg in DXB they would not change my details so I had to pay internet for the 2nd leg too. Bummer. 

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