Norwegian airplane in flight
Credit: Courtesy of Norwegian

You don’t necessarily have to give up your favorite amenities when you fly a budget airline.

Norwegian Airlines has become the first budget airline to offer free Wi-Fi to passengers on long-haul flights.

“From being the first European airline to launch free Wi-Fi on all short-haul flights followed by free live television, Norwegian’s rollout of high-quality inflight broadband services will offer business and leisure travellers even greater value at affordable fares,” Boris Bubresko, the airline’s vice president of business development, said in a statement.

Norwegian passengers will be able to get online using one of two options. The first option is free and allows basic surfing capabilities. Passengers can browse the web, scroll through social media, and send messages and emails during the entire flight.

Passengers who want something with a bit more oomph can opt to pay for the premium option. According to the airline, this connection will be fast enough to support movie, music and TV streaming to personal devices, from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and many other services. The cost of the connection will be $14.95 for a three-hour package.

Free wifi on board Norwegian flights
Credit: Courtesy of Norwegian

However, don’t bank on your upcoming flights having Wi-Fi. Not all planes are equipped and Norwegian Airlines is rolling out the technology over the next year. According to the airline, about half of its fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will have Wi-Fi installed by 2020.

Passengers should remember that Norwegian is still a budget airline and fees are likely to pop up if you want to go beyond minimal service. If you book the cheapest tickets, the airline charges fees to rebook tickets, reserve seats, and eat a meal.