Etihad launches ‘Wi-Fly’ with free chat packages

A passenger uses his phone to access the internet on an Etihad Airways flight.
Photo Credit: Etihad Airways

United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad Airways has launched its Wi-Fly ‘Chat’ and ‘Surf’ packages, allowing passengers free in-flight chat messaging, and options to browse the web while flying on Etihad’s wide-body fleet.

Complimentary chat messaging service

All passengers flying with Etihad will now benefit from complimentary ‘Chat’ messaging throughout their entire flight.

The new service can be accessed by signing in with Etihad Guest membership or simply enrolling online before flying to benefit immediately.

The free chat feature then provides access to popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and WeChat, to name a few.

Internet access options 

Travelers wishing to surf, catch up on social media and work while they fly, can also choose to purchase ‘Surf’ Wi-Fly plans available for a flat fee with unlimited data for the duration of the flight.

For flights under 7 hours: The Chat package is $2.99 or free for Etihad Guest members, and the Surf package is $9.99.

For flights over 7 hours: The Chat package is $4.99 or also free for Etihad Guest members, and the Surf package is $19.99.

Etihad Guest Platinum and Exclusive tier members as well as guests travelling in Etihad’s First Class cabins will benefit from complimentary Surf Wi-Fly access throughout their flight. Etihad Guest Gold members will receive a 25% discount on the Surf package.

Etihad CEO comments 

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “We know how important it is for our guests to stay connected, which is why we’re thrilled to introduce an added complimentary benefit for Etihad Guest members.”

“We welcome everyone to sign up before they fly to take advantage of this benefit immediately. Wi-Fly plans will offer unlimited data and will last the duration of the flight, which means our guests can easily catch up on social media, work or browse as they wish.”

“Our fleet of modern wide-body aircraft is fitted with the right technology to enable this service and offer our guests an enjoyable connected experience throughout their journey,” he continued.

Etihad’s narrow-body fleet continues to offer the current mobile connectivity service allowing guests to make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages and use their data roaming packages as they would on the ground.

In-flight entertainment

As well as connecting to the world through mobile and internet connectivity, guests flying on Etihad are able to access the inflight entertainment service, E-BOX, which caters to a broad range of travellers from the youngest ‘Little VIPs’ to the young at heart.

E-BOX is available on-demand through the seat-back screens on the wide-body fleet or by streaming E-BOX wirelessly to guests’ own devices on the narrow-body fleet

In addition to hundreds of blockbuster movies from Hollywood to Bollywood, as well as Arabic, Asian and European content, guests can enjoy TV shows, music, podcasts and games.

There are also seven live broadcast sports and news TV channels to keep up to date with current affairs or catch a live match while on board.


In-flight connectivity and competitive offers on internet access and chat services is becoming a feature of focus to many airlines internationally.

The Etihad offering comes as the most recent service upgrade in the market, and certainly benefits its long-haul passengers.

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