Delta Is Working On Free In-Flight Wi-Fi For All Passengers

By Annie Baker ● October 4, 2018

Recently, Forbes contributor Jordan Bishop published an article about how Delta Air Lines is working on bringing free in-flight Wi-Fi to all of its passengers. The announcement was made by Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian at the Skift Global Forum in New York. But Bastian did not specify exactly when this would happen.

Bastian acknowledged that Delta passengers have been demanding fast and free Wi-Fi connectivity for a while now. “I don’t know of anywhere else, besides in an airplane, that you can’t get free Wi-Fi,” said Bastian via Forbes. “We’re going to make it free.”

Passengers often plan which flights they plan to take based on whether in-flight Wi-Fi is available. So Delta’s potential implementation of free Wi-Fi would drastically distinguish the company from other airlines.

Several airline companies like Qatar Airways and Philippine Airlines currently offer free Wi-Fi for a limited amount of time or it depends on data usage. And certain airlines like Turkish Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines offer free Wi-Fi to its frequent flyers with an option to purchase a connection for others. Of the Seamless Air Alliance, Delta is the only founding member airline that is looking to make Wi-Fi in its airlines as advanced as it is on the ground as of right now.

Delta is currently on its third-generation Wi-Fi system integrated into a large number of the planes in its fleet. Delta moved from Gogo ATG to ATG-4 to 2Ku in the span of a few years, according to RouteHappy. And Delta has Wi-Fi installed on all of its aircraft that is larger than the 50-seat regional jets. In terms of the global rankings of Wi-Fi-accessible total available seat miles, Delta is in first place followed by United.

Last month, LinkedIn Vice President and Head of Business Development Scott Roberts also announced that Delta has partnered with the professional social network where premium LinkedIn Learning courses will be available for free for passengers through the in-flight Wi-Fi. LinkedIn also has similar partnerships with Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Turkish Airlines, certain Alaska Airlines flights, and the Eurostar rail service.