Malaysia Airlines may have joined the global push for free Internet above the clouds, but with a few stark and surprising differences against the likes of Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Lufthansa, all of which offer some variation of free WiFi.
For starters, Malaysia Airlines’ free WiFi doesn’t rely on passengers being members of its Enrich rewards program and having their Enrich number listed against their booking.
That’s the approach adopted by Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Finnair, among others, and it forces travellers to forego earning points and status credits on a partner airline because only a membership number for the airline you’re flying on – such as KrisFlyer, Miles & More or Finnair Plus – will unlock that free WiFi.
Secondly, while some airlines will restrict travellers in economy class to free messaging, Malaysia Airlines doesn’t differentiate between where you’re sitting – every passenger from tip to tail enjoys full Internet access – messaging (including photos), social media, Web browsing and email.
Which Malaysia Airlines jets have free WiFi?
All of Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330 and Airbus A350s now offer the free WiFi service, along with the newly-arrived Boeing 737 MAX jets.
Free WiFi will also be a core part of the experience on the factory-fresh Airbus A330neo fleet, which will take wing from September 2024 with all-new business class suites for flights throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Executive Traveller understands there are currently no firm plans to fit the satellite Internet capability to Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 fleet.
How fast is Malaysia Airlines free WiFi?
Malaysia Airlines’ WiFi is among the fastest we’ve encountered.
On recent A330 trips between Sydney and Kuala Lumpur we clocked download speeds averaging 11Mbps, while even uploads hit 6Mbps.
(There’s equal parts irony and sadness that these speeds were much faster than those at Malaysia Airlines’ flagship lounges at KL, where on recent visits the connection struggles to top 4Mbps).
Malaysia Airlines’ inflight Internet service is also impressively zippy in response, with minimal lag or drop-out.
In common with most satellite-based airline services, Malaysia Airlines’ WiFi isn’t available on a gate-to-gate basis: you need to wait for the plane to reach level flight after take-off, and likewise the service ends shortly before the jet begins its descent to your destination.
Connecting to Malaysia Airlines’ free WiFi
At the time of writing Malaysia Airlines’ cabin crew appear not to be announcing that free WiFi is available, not was there any obvious information on our flights, either in terms of printed cards or on the inflight entertainment system.
Here’s the step-by-step ahead of your next Malaysia Airlines flight.
- with your device on flight mode, switch on WiFi
- join the MHConnect hotspot
- in your Web browser, enter the address mhconnect.malaysiaiarlines.com
- from the welcome screen, select to purchase a Complimentary MHconnect Internet package
- when prompted to ‘Select your access type’, simply choose the guest option to get online fast
Passengers can connect multiple devices to Malaysia Airlines’ free WiFi service, which is handy for swapping between your laptop, smartphone and tablet.