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I had a couple of longhaul business class flights awhile ago on our family’s trip to Europe. In both of my flights, I ended up not buying the inflight wifi package, even though in a lot of ways it makes sense. I thought I’d share a bit of my thinking and why I have found myself not buying wifi on recent flights. I’m not saying that this is what everyone should be doing, or that there isn’t a case for sometimes buying wifi on a flight, but I figured I’d talk a bit about how this calculation has been working for me lately.

The Case For Buying Inflight Wifi

I do think there are a few valid reasons for buying inflight wifi. Depending on the length of your flight, being online can be the difference between getting stuff done and “wasting” a few hours. This is especially true for people like me who work remotely and can in theory be productive from anywhere. And if you are flying for business (aka someone else is paying for it), or you have a credit card that will reimburse your wifi purchases, then of course it can make sense.

(SEE ALSO: Southwest Performance Business Credit Card Review – Free Southwest Wifi And More)

To be clear, I am not trying to “judge” people that do buy airplane wifi – I’m just trying to explain MY reasoning as well as hear others’ perspectives.

4 Reasons I Don’t Buy Wifi On Flights

With that said, here are a few reasons why I have found myself not buying wifi on flights.

  • Bad Wifi – Like they say, the only thing worse than no wifi is bad wifi. I’ve been burned several times where I pay for the wifi, only to struggle with getting any sort of meaningful connection the whole time. Kind of defeats the whole purpose!
  • Shorter flights – Especially on regional jets where I’m only flying for an hour or two, it seems kind of silly to spend $8-$10 for an hour’s worth of Internet (taking away the takeoff and landing time where you can’t really use it)
  • Being productive without wifi – I know it might seem strange, but it is also possible to be productive without access to the Internet (gasp!). Sometimes I will queue up an article in offline mode and just write the basics for it on my flight, and finish it up later when I’m back online. Sometimes I even find that I’m more productive without wifi, since then I don’t get distracted.
  • Relaxing in other ways – Another factor, especially on longer flights, is that it can be fun to just relax and do other things. This is especially true on business class flights, where I’m constantly being served food, and have a relaxing chair to watch movies in. I don’t go out and watch many movies, so sometimes it seems like the main place I watch movies is on business class flights.

Also, maybe I’m just an idiot, but I can’t ever seem to get the “free messaging” to work, even on flights where that supposedly is a thing. And I know that some airlines are starting to roll out free wifi on flights, which will be great and make this whole argument moot.

2024 London / Paris Trip

The Bottom Line – Do You Buy Inflight Wifi?

So I’ve laid out a few of my reasons for why I find that I have not been buying wifi on my flights. I’m curious to hear from other people who regularly fly to see what you do. Do you buy wifi all the time? Sometimes? Never? What goes into your decision on whether to buy wifi when you’re flying? I’m curious to hear from other people in different situations. There’s no denying that airplane wifi is fairly expensive but if it makes the difference between being productive or “wasting” a few hours, I can see it definitely making sense.

Do you usually buy inflight wifi? Or save your money by occupying yourself in other ways? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

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