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Virgin America, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue are best bets for the corporate traveller thanks to a combination of high speed and high availability – with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines trailing the pack.
A new study by HighSpeedInternet.com set out to rank domestic inflight WiFi on major US airlines based on availability, speed and cost, and here's how it shook out.
Virgin America – which is now in the process of being swallowed whole by Alaska Airlines – is rated as the best choice for business travelers due not only to the tech being available on all Virgin flights, but serving up a solid 15Mbps.
The only downside? It's also the most expensive among US airlines, costing up to US$25 per day.
JetBlue would come a close second for many Australian Business Traveller readers who dart coast-to-coast on the airline's Mint business class service: JetBlue's WiFi is as fast as Virgin America and it's completely free. Not all JetBlue flights have WiFi on tap, but those with the Mint premium cabin do.
Virgin Australia partner Delta makes the cut based on solid speed (again, a meaty 15Mbps) and a lower price than Virgin America (up to US$16 per day) , and with 98% of Delta's 'available seat miles' (the number of seats across its fleet multiplied by the number of miles the airline flies in a year) you're almopst certain to set foot on a WiFi-equipped jet.
Another tip for US-bound business travellers: Delta, Alaska, United and American Airlines all use Gogo as their inflight Internet provider, and Gogo lets you buy WiFi passes online at greatly reduced rates compared to paying once you're on the flight.
This includes US$7 one-hour passes and US$19 all-day passes.
If you've got a busy schedule packed with a lot of domestic US travel, there are also monthly plans at US$50 – so compared to an all-day pass, you'd come out ahead with just three flights.