United Airlines is testing a portal that will allow travelers to trade their frequent-flier miles for in-flight Wi-Fi service for their smartphones, tablets and laptops, Reuters reported.
Though other airlines already offer Wi-Fi services on flights, United said the option to pay with accumulated mileage rewards would be a first among U.S. carriers.
In comments to Reuters, United officials said the number of miles needed to pay for Wi-Fi would “vary with supply and demand.” To provide a comparison, however, Reuters said customers on Deutsche Lufthansa – a United partner – currently pay about 3,500 miles or 9 euros for each hour of internet access.
United said it hopes to roll out the payment portal to domestic flights by early next year and international flights by mid-summer 2016. Jets contracted for United’s United Express brand would have the service installed later, Reuters said.