Malaysia Airlines switches on free WiFi

The KL-based carrier joins the push towards unlimited inflight Internet, but it’s a journey of many steps…

By David Flynn, June 30 2023
Malaysia Airlines switches on free WiFi
Executive Traveller exclusive

Malaysia Airlines will offer free WiFi to business class travellers and top-tier frequent flyers from this Saturday July 1, 2023.

Some 20 Malaysia Airlines jets – a list comprising six long-range Airbus A350s and 14 Airbus A330s – will provide free WiFi to all business class passengers and Platinum members of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty program (but not, Executive Traveller understands, the equivalent Emerald-grade members of other Oneworld partner airlines).

However, don’t expect a free for all: the airline says that during this initial stage “customers will have access to a generous data cap of 100MB” per flight “with a bandwidth of up to 512Kbps, ensuring they can stay connected and productive during their journey.”

Complimentary Internet will launch on 20 MH jets starting July 1.
Complimentary Internet will launch on 20 MH jets starting July 1.

Malaysia Airlines’ long-standing WiFi pricing offers a three-tier structure

  • a Lite package costing US$2 covers instant messaging and chat services (but without voice or video calls), up to 10Mb of data at speeds of 200Kbps
  • a US$10 Social package made for light web browsing, with a 50MB data limit and 512Kbps speed
  • a US$25 Business package which is oddly described as being “suitable for passengers who travel for business purposes, although heavy browsing and video streaming are not allowed” – this is data-capped at 200Mb and throttled at 512Kbps.

So it seems the initial free WiFi offer on Malaysia Airlines is a modified version of the top Business package, albeit with half the data on tap.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesperson tells Executive Traveller the move marks the first phase in a staged rollout as more aircraft are fitted with the satellite-powered WiFi service.

For next stage of Malaysia Airlines’ “strategic approach to providing complimentary WiFi”, the airline says “we have planned to introduce a more robust and comprehensive connectivity solution” which will extend the gratis connection to Enrich Gold members.

“For the rest of our customers who are Enrich members, there will still be limited complimentary connectivity available for their consumption on-board.”

As previously reported, Malaysia Airlines has revealed the all-new international business class destined for its its forthcoming Airbus A330neo jets from late 2024, along with a mid-life refit of all Airbus A350s beginning in 2026.

This will be the Elevation model from manufacturer Collins Super Diamond – the same platform used by British Airways for its Club Suite business class and for Etihad Airways’ A350 Business Studio suite – complete with sliding privacy doors.

Read more: Malaysia Airlines’ new Airbus A330neo, A350 business class


07 Jan 2016

Total posts 18

Returned two days ago

Experienced the worst internet experience of late (Compared to SQ and EK). Internet coverage is very poor. Purchased 50MB plan and lasted less than 2hrs with only texting and having enabled the low data mode. Needs improvement because MH is worth a try. 

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2018

Total posts 49

Internet on planes is often not very reliable. The more people who use it, the slower it seems to get. Periods where it abruptly stops are frequent and annoying. I believe it is because the connection with the satellite or other source is erratic. 

Yep, satellite connections can be very prone to variations in speed and sometimes the connection just seems to stall completely.

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