United joins Alaska and Delta on T-Mobile’s list of airlines with in-flight Wi-Fi included in Magenta and Magenta Max plan

An illustration of T-Mobile’s magenta “T” logo on a black field with color-matched graphical squares.

T-Mobile continues adding perks to its Magenta and Magenta Max plans.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

T-Mobile is broadening its free in-flight Wi-Fi promotion by adding domestic United Airlines flights to the offer. Subscribers to T-Mobile’s Magenta Max and Magenta post-paid plans have already had access to a similar deal on Alaska Airlines and Delta flights, but now United is also in the mix.

It’s part of T-Mobile’s ongoing push to add more incentives to its top-end plans, like free Apple TV Plus, the prospect of future SpaceX Starlink connectivity, and 5GB of high-speed data while traveling abroad. The latter is part of T-Mobile’s “Coverage Beyond” campaign, of which this in-flight Wi-Fi program is a component. T-Mobile wants to capitalize on increased travel now that the pandemic is “over” and more destinations are opening up because the more perks there are, the less likely people are to switch carriers.

One thing to keep in mind — if you’re a T-Mobile Magenta plan subscriber — is your access to free in-flight Wi-Fi is limited to four flights per year. Magenta Max users, in contrast, get unlimited flights. And, of course, while T-Mobile says you can “stream all flight long where available,” airplane Wi-Fi still kinda sucks when it comes to fast speeds that don’t require the occasional buffering or reliance on low-res streams.

If you’re like me and haven’t been on a flight in a while — far too long, sadly — then this is certainly a nice perk to help make a return to sitting very close to many strangers in a big metal tube a little more bearable. In-flight Wi-Fi may not be nearly as fast as we want it to be, but it’s certainly nice to have more options to entertain yourself when you can’t find anything to watch on that crappy little screen less than a foot from your face. Though while I welcome some nice added perks like anyone else, I can’t help but wonder whenever T-Mobile makes an announcement like this if it should have been “flexing its post-merger scale” to keep people’s jobs instead.

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