One of the most expensive inflight internet services is about to become massively more affordable. Swiss is dramatically revamping its connectivity pricing from 2 August 2023, introducing a free messaging tier and flat-rate packages across its long-haul fleet.
In offering these new wi-fi options we’re taking a big step forward. With our new unlimited free chat facility in all our travel classes, our guests can keep in contact with their families, friends and business partners throughout their flight. – SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour
The free messaging option will support free text and picture messages across a range of popular messaging applications. These include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. The complimentary tier can be accessed on any device, including smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
For passengers who want more connectivity on board Swiss offers two time-based packages in the updated tariffs rather than volume-based rates. A four hour pass costs 25 CHF (~$29) while a full flight connection prices as 35 CHF (~$40). While those prices are far from the cheapest flying, they represent a significant improvement from Swiss’s historical offerings.
(Almost) unlimited data
The carrier also notes that all three connection tiers will be offered with unlimited data volumes, “enabling even data-heavy content to be easily consumed.” Including photos/videos in the messaging service, for example, is a less common approach for free tiers among airlines. But Swiss and its provider Panasonic Avionics still intend to block video streaming services, “to ensure that adequate bandwidth is simultaneously available for as many passengers as possible.”
Faced with an ever blurring line between what is streaming video and general web browsing, the company says video from social media sites will be available. Additionally, audio streaming and VPN services will be supported.
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