Vodafone launches airline roaming for inflight calls, text, streaming

Partner airlines include Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

By David Flynn, October 26 2023
Vodafone launches airline roaming for inflight calls, text, streaming

Vodafone’s $5/day international roaming has long been a hit with travellers, and now the telco is literally taking that to new heights.

A new satellite-powered inflight roaming service will bring the same experience to passengers en route to their destination.

At launch, Vodafone’s inflight roaming agreements covers an extensive roster of international airlines:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Belgium
  • Air Portugal
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Bangladesh Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Egyptair
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Eva Air
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Uzbekistan Airways

Vodafone’s inflight roaming costs the same $5/day as its international roaming counterpart, with the telco promising “3G-like download and upload speeds on most flights via satellite technology” and “allow customers to talk, text and stream.”

Vodafone says the flat $5/day fee will “put an end to inflight WiFi rip-offs”, although several airlines have already adopted free WiFi – and achieving a useable speed will of course be a factor in comparing an airline’s own offering versus that of Vodafone.

Lufthansa is one of almost 20 launch partner airlines for Vodafone's $5/day inflight roaming.
Lufthansa is one of almost 20 launch partner airlines for Vodafone's $5/day inflight roaming.

Inflight roaming is available on all Vodafone plans which already qualify for $5/day global roaming.

And if you activate Vodafone’s $5 airline roaming during your flight and within 24 hours land in a country covered by $5 global roaming – such as on a Cathay Pacific flight from Australia to Hong Kong – you can continue using your inflight roaming package on the ground for the remainder of that time without paying an additional $5.

“We have customers joining Vodafone every day who are sick of the great roaming rip off” says Kieren Cooney, Vodafone Group Executive, Consumer.

“Whether you’re in another country or on your way there, Vodafone is working hard to help you stay connected and save money.”

Vodafone's $5/day international roaming now encompasses more than 100 popular destinations, letting travellers enjoy free calls and texts within each country and back to Australia, while also tapping into their plan's full data allocation rather than being limited to a daily cap such as 500MB-1GB.

For more details, visit vodafone.com.au/support/plans/in-flight-roaming.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jun 2017

Total posts 48

If somebody attempts to make a phone or work call while within earshot of me I will personally make them eat their phone.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 262

$5 a day is great value, saves the hassle of sourcing a local sim and a much better offer than other telco’s who charge more for so little data. 


30 Apr 2013

Total posts 10

If this works well enough, then this is awesome 

$5 roaming is one of the features that makes it hard for me to move off Voda. If this is implemented well, esp on SQ, then they might have me for a while longer.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Apr 2013

Total posts 51

Telstra, are you listening?


30 Jun 2015

Total posts 35

I got sick of spending $5 just to check a voicemail so ditched Voda for Amaysim. Have just spent 25 days in EU and only burnt 40% of my $50 roaming pack with daily Google map use, voicemails and emails.  Worked a treat.

btw Wifi is free on SQ if you join Krisflyer.

Really keen to try this out or hear from people who use it, as to the speeds. Airplane wi-fi is great when it works well, but super frustrating when it's glacially slow or so stop-start that you can't get anything done and can't even rely on it. Given Voda lists '3G speed' I'm not sure how fast it will be but I definitely like the idea of my $5/day roaming covering inflight use as well as on the ground in those first 24 hours instead of being billed twice!

Virgin Blue - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2011

Total posts 21

You know felix offers $20 for 5GB international roaming, that lasts for up to 365 days? Much better value than a daily infinite download offer. 

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 6

I thoroughly agree, Mjkcan.  On a recent flight with Turkish Airlines in business class I was appalled as the man  behind me made about five business calls which I had no trouble hearing.   Phone calls in planes should be  banned.  An intolerable intrusion. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

18 Jun 2018

Total posts 5

I use Telstra as my carrier. It works well in AU but the roaming deal sucks vs Voda. With the advent of Dual SIM phones, it's not so bad.

I use WiFi calling where I'm staying as well as on planes. I took a call in F on an SQ flight (so not at close quarters - I agree work calls in Y or anywhere else where it's rude to make them - like a bus - should not happen at all).

When I'm away from WiFi, I use local SIM to provide data and local calls (as Telstra isn't "roaming" but it is on an overseas network).

I can see more promotion of this now - was looking at Woolies mobile for a family member and promoted this as well.

Probably more economical for long stays abroad to do this and have continuity of your local phone service - I think Voda and Optus block WiFi calling overseas. If they don't, then this could work for you too. I'm not switching from Telstra - - I don't have to currently.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

I have been using Vodafone's five dollar a day global roaming for many, many years. I work overseas between four and six months a year and it is to know that I have more or less unlimited bandwidth (because that's the plan I have in Australia) as well as the free calls and messages to and from Australia. The last piece of the puzzle has been on board Wi-Fi. It's frustrating to see that JAL 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

Please let me hasten to add to my other comment about my happiness with Vodafone's $5 a day global roaming, short of a dying family member I would never take or receive a voice call on board. I use in-flight Wifi strictly for messaging and of course email.

One of the pleasures of flying has been the absence of people chatting on their phones 24/7.  If this is to become the norm, I'll be patronising any airline which doesn't offer this feature.

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