How to tell if your flight has WiFi and other tech perks

Airlines are fitting WiFi, power outlets, or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) video streaming systems into more and more of their planes, and we’ll soon expect rather than hope to connect to the internet or use our devices to stream entertainment as we hurtle 30,000 feet through the air at 600 miles per hour.

Until every flight has WiFi, however, these terrestrial search tips will help you find out which flights have the amenities you want.

Luckily, there are two sites that can help you find out what kind of amenities are featured in pretty much every flight in the world.

Routehappy is particularly useful for telling you what kind of on-board entertainment you can expect on a flight. For example, you can see which flights specifically have paid or free live TV, on-demand video, personal device video streaming, or all/none of the above.

Flight entertainment availability info routehappyBusiness Insider/Antonio Villas-BoasDetails of the in-flight entertainment appear when you click on the Entertainment icon in Routehappy.

Like some travel sites, Routehappy also shows you which flights have WiFi, too. But Routehappy goes a little bit further by showing you if the on-board WiFi on that particular flight has good, better, or the best on-board WiFi service.

Routehappy flight wifi checkBusiness Insider/Antonio Villas-BoasThis flight apparently has the best, fastest WiFi. But it doesn’t have any power outlets.

You can also find out if flights have power outlets to charge your devices if your mile-high web surfing drains your device’s battery. However, many airlines reserve the outlets for premium or first class passengers, and Routehappy won’t tell you if the outlets are also available in economy class.

That’s when SeatGuru comes in.

SeatGuru gives you simpler information about a flight’s on-board amenities than Routehappy, but it shows you exactly which seats have the power outlets.

In a flight’s details section, you’ll see a link with the aircraft model that will fly the route, as shown in the screenshot below. Click it to open a seating map that will show you which seats have power outlets.

The tiny grey dot on each seat is the symbol representing power outlets. For this particular flight, power outlets are available for every seat.

You’ll also discover that SeatGuru offers a bunch of useful non-tech information, like which seats have the most legroom and which are least favourable due to their proximity to bathrooms.

After you’ve found flights with the tech you’re looking for, you can go ahead and book it straight from either of these websites.

Even if you discover that the cheapest flight with the best timing doesn’t have any of the amenities you’re looking for and you’re not willing to pay more for a flight that does, knowing ahead could still let you prepare and arrange some entertainment like movies or TV to watch on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

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