Norwegian Celebrates 5 Years of Free Wi-Fi (Sí FREE)

Norwegian Airlines celebrates five years since it introduced free high-speed Wi-Fi on its European routes by sharing a study of passenger Wi-Fi trends.

The airline polled a representative selection of 1,000 passengers across Europe about their inflight surfing habits, combined with data on usage of the service from over 550,000 flights to reveal what passengers browse, share and tag while floating through Europe’s clouds.

Norwegian Wi-Fi Survey Results


  • 1/3 of passengers log into social media within 5 minutes of a flight
  • Americans and Brits are most likely to show off about their holiday on social media channels
  • Just one in ten passengers said they take a break from social media during a flight
  • Flights to Tromsø, Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante and Madrid have the most Wi-Fi users
  • Facebook FOMO (fear of missing out): A third of passengers (28%) log onto a social media channel within just five minutes of the flight.
  • One in five passengers say they would be annoyed if they could not access social media during a flight – with 3% going as far as to say it would ruin their flight
  • #Holiday: American and British passengers are most likely to show off about their holiday, with 40% of Americans posting a picture or status about their trip during the flight. This is followed by 20% of Brits
  • Race to get online: German passengers are the keenest to get online, followed by Swedish and Danish. The availability of free Wi-Fi still comes as a surprise to British, Spanish and American travellers who take the longest to connect.
  • Mile high movers: The most popular websites visited at 35,000ft by Brits are news sites including BBC, Guardian and Daily Mail, followed by Right Move and Amazon
  • Digital detox: Just one in ten people said they like to take a break from social media during a flight
  • Let me take a selfie: Inflight Wi-Fi has contributed to new social media trends with half of 18 to 25 year olds logging into Instagram to take a selfie or post a wing shot. To date #flyNorwegian has been tagged over 12,900 times on Instagram
  • Checking in: Spanish are the most addicted to social media– with 62% accessing networking sites during their flight. This is followed by Norwegian (56%) and Danish (55%) passengers

Passenger demand for Wi-Fi is highest on routes to and from Spain.

“Five years ago Norwegian became the first airline to introduce free Wi-Fi on European routes, and five years later we are still the only carrier to offer the service,” said Thomas Amdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian.


“Norwegian’s new study reveals some fascinating insights into the world’s sky-high surfing habits. The results show how integral being connected is to people’s travel plans – with 18,000 passengers per day accessing Wi-Fi to chat with friends, read news and continue working whilst travelling across Europe,” Amdahl added.

The airline remains the only carrier on the continent to offer free Wi-Fi on all routes. Since pioneering the service in February 2011 over 19 million passengers have logged in at 35,000ft.

Since Norwegian introduced the free service over 500 terabytes of data have been consumed on board flights – enough to stream 1.2 million songs, receive 170 million emails or watch 25,000 hours of Netflix.

Norwegian offers high-speed satellite Wi-Fi with two separate networks onboard: one open to passengers, and one for pilots and cabin crew to help make their work easier and more efficient.

Dreamliner Interior 5 HR

Norwegian also set an industry first by becoming the only airline to offer Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) inflight entertainment system across Europe, and was the first European carrier to introduce live television in November 2015.


Marisa Garcia

After working for sixteen years in aviation, specializing in aircraft interiors design and aviation safety equipment, and getting hands-on with aircraft cabins in hangars around the world, Marisa Garcia turned her expertise into industry insight. She has been reporting on aviation matters since 2014. Every day, she's putting words to work.

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