Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

The Complete Guide to United’s Inflight Wi-Fi Service [2023]

Spencer Howard's image
Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard

Former Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 21U.S. States Visited:

Always a fan of flying, Spencer wanted to find ways to upgrade his travel experience. Over the years, Spencer has been a guest speaker on multiple YouTube shows as well as podcasts on maximizing point...
Edited by: Nick Ellis

Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...
& Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

U.S. carriers began rolling out inflight internet services nearly a decade ago and have been slowly improving the experience. Now, it is almost expected that airlines will have Wi-Fi on their flights.

Like many other airlines, United Airlines does not use a consistent Wi-Fi provider. Instead, the Wi-Fi provider used depends on the type of aircraft.

Let’s dig into the details of United’s Wi-Fi, including its providers, what kind of Wi-Fi service you can expect, and how much you may (or may not!) have to pay for it.

Which United Aircraft Have Wi-Fi and Who Provides It?

United has fitted almost all of its aircraft with Wi-Fi capability and has 4 Wi-Fi providers across its fleet:

Wi-Fi ProviderSelect Aircraft
  • Embraer 170
  • Embraer 175
  • Bombardier CRJ-700/550
  • Select Airbus 319
  • Airbus 320
  • Select Boeing 757-200/300
  • 767-300ER/400ER
  • 777-200/200ER/300ER
  • 787-8/9/10
  • 737-700/800/900
  • 737-900ER
  • Select 757-300s
  • Select Airbus 319
  • Select Boeing 737-900
  • Boeing 757-200 with premium transcontinental service
  • 737 MAX 9

United Wi-Fi Coverage Maps

United Airlines Wi-Fi Coverage. Image Credit: United

Note that coverage is limited when traveling over polar regions and some countries with regulations restricting inflight Wi-Fi access.

Is United’s Wi-Fi Reliable?

Reliability has long been an issue for inflight internet services, but things are certainly better than they were a few years ago. While providers have been working with airlines to improve speed and reliability, you shouldn’t be surprised if you find slower speeds (if not failing Wi-Fi) on some of your flights.

If you have important work that can only be done with Wi-Fi, we don’t recommend planning your day around doing it in flight.

Can You Stream Video?

Yes — but not on all flights. Currently, streaming services are only available on aircraft equipped with Viasat Wi-Fi service.

How Much Is Wi-Fi on United?

United Airlines Wi-Fi Fees

Inflight messagingFree
Available on select Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft and works with iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp
T-Mobile customersFree
Messaging and streaming available on domestic and short-haul international flights, including 737 and select 757-300 aircraft, and A319s supported by Viasat and Thales
Purchased on boardVaries from ~$8-10
Prices depend on the flight duration and aircraft Wi-Fi provider
Pre-purchased 1-hour pass$7
Valid for 1 hour of continuous use from activation. Expires 30 days after purchase. Valid on Gogo-equipped aircraft.
Pre-purchased 24-hour pass$19
Valid for 24 hours of continuous use from activation. Expires 30 days after purchase. Valid on Gogo-equipped aircraft.
North America monthly pass$49 per month
Monthly unlimited use on North American Wi-Fi-equipped flights
Global monthly pass$69 per month
Monthly unlimited use on North American and international Wi-Fi-equipped flights
North America annual pass$539
Monthly unlimited use on North American Wi-Fi-equipped flights
Global annual pass$689 per year
Annual unlimited use on North American and international Wi-Fi-equipped flights

Hot Tip: United recently teamed up with T-Mobile for its customers to get free inflight Wi-Fi on all United domestic and international flights. United plans to add this service on flights operated by United Express in the future. 

Best Ways To Save On United’s Wi-Fi

Purchase a Pass

If you’re a frequent traveler, buying a monthly or yearly subscription pass can be a good way to save on Wi-Fi.

For example, if you fly 6+ times per month and spend $8 to $10 per flight, a monthly pass can present decent savings. The savings are more significant the more frequently you fly.

Have a Credit Card With Free Gogo Passes

One option for frequent travelers to save on Wi-Fi is with the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, which comes with 12 free Gogo Wi-Fi passes per year. The passes are valid on domestic and international flights, per segment. But, this will only be of benefit if your United flight offers service with Gogo, not any of the other 3 internet providers.

Use a United Credit Card

If you’re a United credit card holder, you can use your card to purchase Wi-Fi onboard and get a 25% statement credit. That’s because all of the United credit cards come with 25% back on inflight purchases.

Use an Eligible American Express Credit Card

If your United flight offers Wi-Fi through United’s Wi-Fi portal, you could use an eligible American Express card to get United Wi-Fi for free.

American Express cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offer airline incidental credits. And if you select United as your airline of choice for the year, the credits can offset the cost of Wi-Fi.

Redeem United Miles for Wi-Fi

Flights equipped with United’s new Wi-Fi portal allow you to redeem MileagePlus miles to purchase Wi-Fi access. However, this is a terrible use of your hard-earned United miles!

At a minimum, we value United miles at 1.3 cents per mile. If you redeem miles for Wi-Fi, you won’t even get 1 cent per mile. You’d definitely be better off saving your miles for future flights.

Is Buying Wi-Fi Worth It?

Whether buying Wi-Fi is worth it to you is going to be a personal decision. If staying connected to friends during flights makes the flying experience more enjoyable, then it might be worth it.

If you’re hoping to get a little extra work done (or your employer is paying for it), it might also be worth it.

Final Thoughts

Inflight internet has come a long way over the last number of years, with more coverage options and more airlines, including United, offering free service to eligible customers on select flights.

Luckily for United fliers, United has fitted almost all of its aircraft with Wi-Fi capability. So regardless of when and where you’re flying, you’ll have the option to purchase Wi-Fi access.

The information regarding the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which United aircrafts have Wi-Fi?

United has fitted almost all of its aircraft with Wi-Fi capability. The exceptions are 737 aircraft operating in Guam and Micronesia.

How much does United Wi-Fi cost?

The cost for United Wi-Fi varies depending on the flight, but usually ranges from ~$8 to ~$10. There are also monthly and annual subscription options. And T-Mobile customers have access to free messaging and streaming on most domestic and short-haul international flights.

How do you sign on to United Airlines Wi-Fi?

With your wireless device in airplane mode with only Wi-Fi enabled, locate the “United_Wi-Fi” wireless network, then launch a browser. If you aren’t redirected to the Wi-Fi portal, type in the URL. You can then purchase a plan and begin using it.

How do I purchase Wi-Fi on United before a flight?

You can purchase a United Wi-Fi Day Pass when you are booking your reservation. You can also select your trip from My Trips and view the Wi-Fi Day Pass option above your flight information.

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience.

Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class!

Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.


Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's privacy policy and terms of service apply. Protection Status