Delta Air Lines has become first major U.S. carrier to introduce free Wi-Fi for all passengers, the carrier announced Thursday (Jan. 5).
The service, in partnership with T-Mobile, will appear on more than 700 Viasat-equipped aircraft by the end of 2023, with full availability on international and regional aircraft by the end of 2024.
“At work, at home and everywhere in between, connectivity is essential to daily life, and your journey on Delta should be no different,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. “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.”
The new service will launch on most domestic mainline aircraft by Feb. 1, Delta says.
To get online, passengers will have to log in using their Delta SkyMiles account or join SkyMiles on the ground or in the air for free.
“At T-Mobile, we believe staying connected while traveling should be an easy, seamless experience,” stated Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO. “T-Mobile customers already get free in-flight Wi-Fi and now we’re partnering with Delta to bring that experience to all customers — regardless of their wireless provider — so that anyone flying Delta can enjoy online access from takeoff to touchdown.”
Delta also announced plans for its Delta Sync Exclusives hub — a new SkyMiles-unlocked mobile platform coming this spring aimed at elevating the in-flight connectivity experience with exclusive offers, access and entertainment from popular brands.
Delta will launch Delta Sync Exclusives hub later this spring.
The move to enhance the onboard experience for air travellers aligns with a similar movement that is happening in Canada.
Last month, Porter Airlines, which will soon debut its new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft, announced an elevated economy experience, including a new all-inclusive fare and improved cabin experience, which will feature no middle seats and "free, fast Wi-Fi” for all.
The offer coincides with Porter's strategy to grow in markets throughout North America.