One very useful benefit given to cardholders of many Mastercard products is complimentary Wi-Fi through Boingo. The access is available at over one million hotspots around the world, both on the ground and in the air.
While passengers could previously enjoy relatively unrestricted use of in-flight Wi-Fi on 26 airlines, there is an upcoming change that will significantly alter the benefit. As of March 9, 2023, eligible Mastercard cardholders will be limited to 12 90-minute in-flight sessions per year, which could result in a reduction to the utility of the perk to some users.
Boingo Reduces In-Flight Mastercard Wi-Fi Benefit
Earlier this week, Boingo sent out an email advising Mastercard cardholders about upcoming changes to the Wi-Fi benefit. In the email, Boingo calls the changes “enhancements” and “improvements”, which usually means the opposite.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and Boingo is pulling the plug on unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi as a Mastercard benefit. As of March 9, 2023, the perk is being reduced to 12 90-minute in-flight sessions over the course of a calendar year for eligible Mastercard cardholders.
It’s important to note that this change only applies to in-flight Wi-Fi – you can continue to use Boingo hotspots on the ground without any limits or caps. Furthermore, during the 90-minute session, there is no cap to the amount of data you can use.
Currently, if you have an eligible Mastercard, you can enjoy access to Boingo Wi-Fi on flights with a number of airlines, including:
- Aer Lingus
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- Etihad Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- TAP Air Portugal
- Virgin Atlantic
While the benefit is listed as unlimited access to premium Wi-Fi, there are actually limits placed on usage that Boingo considers to be more than what an occasional business traveller would use in a month. One you hit 2.1 gigabytes in a calendar month, or connect on more than seven days in a month, your usage is suspended until the end of the month, as is detailed on Boingo’s frequently asked questions page.
Indeed, enjoying free Wi-Fi in any class of service is a great perk to have, and one that can easily justify the annual fee on a credit card if you travel often enough. This is particularly true if you use Wi-Fi on long-haul flights and would have otherwise had to pay for the access.
Which Travellers Will Be Most Affected?
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