The proliferation of in-flight Wi-Fi is taking flight but while availability climbs toward cruising altitude, the chances of stable connectivity is in a turbulent state.

Routehappy, a firm that provides analytics on flight shopping, recently took a slice of daily air traffic and measured it for the presence of Wi-Fi and then deduced the chances of a passenger finding an Internet connection above the clouds.

"Wi-Fi is one of the most sought after, new amenities flyers want to access on their flights, and there has been significant investment by airlines since our last report," says Routehappy CEO Robert Albert.

The year 2014 was a banner one for in-flight Wi-Fi, with the landscape evolving dramatically since Routehappy's July 2013 report, the company claims. Today there is about a one in four chance of Wi-Fi on worldwide flights and those chances rise to two in three in domestic travel.

In drafting its report Routehappy sampled what it calls a "typical midweek travel day" that met criteria for having at least some chance of delivering Wi-Fi to passengers.

"Our Wi-Fi data is derived from our continuing effort to track product attributes by flight using data we collect, analyze and score from hundreds of disparate sources, and applying intelligent algorithms to match it flights," states Routehappy.

Routehappy found about 1 percent of Wi-Fi offerings are first class, 34 percent are high-quality Wi-Fi, and about 31 percent are rated as merely "good." The "best" or highest-bandwidth system was introduced last year and is available on nearly 1 percent of U.S. flights. Airlines are upgrading from Gogo ATG to Gogo ATG-4 ("better"), Routehappy says.

There are 52 airlines worldwide offering in-flight Wi-Fi. The busiest U.S. routes, those that see at least 20 daily flights, are covered by Wi-Fi.

Routehappy found the leaders in offering both in-flight Wi-Fi and power are Virgin America, Alaska Airlines and United  Airlines. Delta offers the most flights and flight miles with Wi-Fi of all airlines while United has the most international planes with Wi-Fi, Routehappy says.

"Coverage is starting to be meaningful on flights worldwide, along with a wide variety of speeds, coverage availability, and pricing models, including free of charge. The industry needs a trustworthy source of truth for in-flight Wi-Fi offerings," says Albert.

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