Delta Air Lines to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi to members of free miles program

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Delta Air Lines is making airplane mode a thing of the past. Starting Feb. 1, U.S. domestic passengers who are members of Delta’s SkyMiles program will receive free in-flight Wi-Fi provided by a partnership with mobile carrier T-Mobile

As of Thursday, all of Delta’s Boeing 757-200 and 737-900 planes had been equipped with free Wi-Fi.

Free Wi-Fi is coming to Delta’s Boeing 737-800 planes on Tuesday, Airbus A321ceo planes on Jan. 17, and Airbus A319-100 and A320-200 planes on Jan. 24. Work on equipping Airbus A321neo planes with free Wi-Fi is expected to start on Jan. 24 as well. 

T-Mobile customers already receive free Wi-Fi on Delta flights. Membership in the SkyMiles program is free to join, and passengers will be prompted to log on to their accounts to access the Wi-Fi. 

Delta stands to become the first major air carrier, defined as having more than 30 million passengers boarded in a quarter, to offer free Wi-Fi. 

“Our vision has long been to deliver an experience at 30,000 feet that feels similar to what our customers have available on the ground,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

The Wi-Fi will be provided by T-Mobile regardless of a passenger’s personal cell carrier. Customers who do not join SkyMiles will have to pay $10 to use the service. Previously, Delta charged almost $50 monthly for a subscription to in-flight Wi-Fi, according to CNN. 

T-Mobile customers already get free in-flight Wi-Fi, and now we’re partnering with Delta to bring that experience to all SkyMiles Members so that anyone flying Delta can enjoy online access from takeoff to touchdown,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced. 

Delta Air Lines plans for the proffered Wi-Fi to be capable of supporting streaming, as opposed to solely basic web browsing. 

“We didn’t just want free Wi-Fi to offer base-level service — we wanted it to be transformative for the entire onboard experience. It is imperative all customers onboard can enjoy their favorite content just as they would at home,” Mr. Bastian said. 

More than 700 aircraft are expected to have free Wi-Fi capabilities by the end of 2023, with expansion to international and regional flights expected in 2024.

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