Delta Air Lines Proves Its Passengers Will Have Access to Free Wi-Fi

Delta Air Lines Proves Its Passengers Will Have Access to Free Wi-Fi

Airlines 2023-01-31
According to a statement released on Thursday, January 5th by Atlanta's Delta Air Lines Inc., free Wi-Fi will be available to customers on most of its domestic mainline flights.

By the end of 2024, all of T-Mobile's fleet will be able to use the service following an agreement. To access the service, passengers must link into their SkyMiles accounts or sign up for SkyMiles before or during the flight (Delta SkyMiles is a frequent flier loyalty program). The new service was initially covered last month by The Wall Street Journal.

Viasat Inc., the California-based satellite Internet service provider that powers the airline's connectivity, will have installed Wi-Fi onboard more than 700 aircraft by the end of 2023. By the end of 2024, Delta hopes to extend it to domestic and foreign aircraft.

At a Las Vegas event, Ed Bastian, Delta CEO, said the following:
"We didn't want just a free Wi-Fi to deliver base-level service – we intended it to be transformative for the overall onboard experience. We've put this system through careful testing to ensure that everyone onboard can enjoy their favorite material exactly as they would at home."
As the aviation sector picks up steam following the Covid-19 outbreak, free Wi-Fi is starting to distinguish airlines from one another.

The cost of providing free Wi-Fi is already funded by corporate sponsorships used by JetBlue Airways Corp. Utilizing Starling, a satellite Internet system from SpaceX, Hawaiian Airlines intends to start providing the service on longer flights.

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In May, Southwest Airlines unveiled a $2 billion expenditure plan that emphasized the need for faster and more dependable Wi-Fi. The Dreamliner aircraft, which are well-liked by passengers for their fast Wi-Fi service among other amenities, are available for purchase from Boeing, and United Airlines announced plans to buy up to 200 of them in December.

In 2019, Delta tested providing free Wi-Fi, but the trial was short-lived because the airline determined that the infrastructure couldn't handle in-flight Internet access without a fee. However, CEO Ed Bastian has stated time and time again that making the service accessible was a top goal.

The launch of the new service coincides with news from Delta that business travel, an essential source of revenue for the airline, is finally on the upswing. After the summer vacations, demand typically declines in the fall, but the airline experienced high travel throughout the season.

The ideas for a digital platform named Delta Sync Exclusives hub were also disclosed by Delta on Thursday along with the previous announcement.

The mobile platform, which will go live in the spring, will provide SkyMiles members in-flight entertainment options like games, streaming, and entertainment from companies like Paramount+, New York Times Games, Resy, and Atlas Obscura.

Later this year, the airline will also launch its Delta On Demand service. It'll include real-time notifications, content suggestions, and first-class food and beverage ordering for SkyMiles users.

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