Air Canada has announced that sometime later this year, it will begin to offer free Wi-Fi service to their most frequent fliers while upgrading their entire service for all fliers. The airline made this announcement as part of their goals for the New Year. Top-tier Altitude members will get to choose the free inflight Wi-Fi privilege as part of their 2018 Altitude benefit year.

For those who aren't so familiar, Air Canada Altitude is specially designed to reward Air Canada's most frequent flyers with a myriad of priority travel services, lounge access and upgrades to Executive Class.

Top-tier fliers - those who have gained Altitude Elite 75K and Altitude Super Elite 100K status - can choose to receive a complimentary 6- or 12- month unlimited use pass respectively for free Gogo Wi-Fi on Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge operated flights.

Other members of the Altitude program, such as Prestige 25K, Elite 35K and Elite 50K members, will have to pay for access to Gogo Wi-Fi during their flights. However, as Air Canada's Internet access plans are based on duration and not the amount of data available for use, travelers should benefit more from choosing a plan or pass that best suits their needs.

Air Canada also stated during their announcement that they will improve the Wi-Fi access speed on all their long-haul flights. By the end of next year, passengers onboard these flights will have access to Gogo's 2Ku service, a leading high-speed satellite Wi-Fi solution.

Air Canada will equip their fleet as follows: Boeing 777's will have the new access by the Summer of 2018. This is a total of 25 planes. The 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners operated by the airline will be equipped by next November, followed by the 8 Airbus A320 jets before the end of next year.

As a final word in their statement, Air Canada said they were the first North American airline to offer free Internet service to their most frequent fliers. This is only true by technicality. JetBlue offers free Internet access to all of its fliers if they join the free TrueBlue frequent flier program.

Pedro Pla is co-founder of GET.com. He has been around the globe several times and considers collecting air miles and points from credit cards to be a hobby, if not, an obsession. Email: p@get.com.