Unlimited inflight Internet

Unlimited inflight Internet

For busy business travelers on the move, access to Internet is vital as it allows them to check emails, the stock market or for keeping up with the office back home.

If you are flying with United, once your flight is cruising above 10,000 feet, listen out for an announcement from the crew to point out that Wi-Fi has been switched on, or just search for the United Wi-Fi hotspot and connect.

United has two main types for Internet connections. The first one is satellite-based which can be found on international flights and on some domestic services within the US. And then there is a cellular-based Internet connection which is the mainstay of the airline's p.s. Premium Service flights.

The price varies from flight to flight, even between the same cities. For instance, unlimited Internet on UA99 from Melbourne to Los Angeles sells for US$16.99 (A$24), but goes for a higher US$19.99 (A$28.24) on the return leg as UA98.

From Los Angeles to New York, the price was a bulky US$15.99 for the same: just US$1 cheaper than the journey from Australia, which is almost three times as long.

Planes equipped with DirectTV technology show a small different welcome screen and have their own pricing scheme.

The former is a favorite amongst smartphone users who are only looking to sending and receiving email via the Mail app and using other pre-installed software, such as Facebook and Twitter, as long as they don't need to open their web browser.

However, for laptop users it makes more sense to get the full option, which on longer domestic flights costs the same as what you'd pay on United's fixed-fee connections once taking into consideration the time lost to taxi, take-off, landing and the inflight meal.

Getting online is considerably straightforward. After clicking on the price of the plan you prefer - or the only plan there is, according to the aircraft type - you can login to your United MileagePlus frequent flyer account to complete the payment or make a quick check-out as a guest.

Even though guest check-out is faster, it is preferable using the MileagePlus option as it allows you to switch your connection and plan to other services (for instance, smartphone or tablet), whereas guest plans are non-transferable.

This is comfortable if you are working on your laptop when they serve the meal so you have to fold your try back, this is when you can get your smartphone out to continue where you left off.

As to payments, a variety of credit cards are accepted including the expected Visa and MasterCard along with American Express, Diners Club, Discover and JCB, plus payments from UATP accounts.

The payments are processed straight away and the receipt will go straight to your email account.