Delta Airlines is set to roll out free Wi-Fi on its flights in the coming weeks.
“It’s going to be free, it’s going to be fast, and it’s going to be available for everyone,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to CNN.
The service will be available to anyone who joins the Delta SkyMiles program, which is free. Those who aren’t members of the loyalty program will pay $10 per flight for Wi-Fi.
Delta SkyMiles already has about 100 million members and recently experienced a boost when it teamed with Starbucks to award miles to members for purchases at the coffee chain.
Delta Sync Launches
The airline is calling the new program Delta Sync. The program not only includes free Wi-Fi and exclusive in-flight entertainment, but access to food and beverages on board and more partnerships similar to the Starbucks program.
“Delta Sync elevates what it means to be a Delta SkyMiles member by enabling a journey that fits you perfectly and grows more rewarding the more you travel,” Bastian said in a release. “The future of travel is one where your digital and physical experiences come together in a seamless, warm and personal way, making those human travel connections even more meaningful.”
Free onboard Wi-Fi has been a priority for the airline for about 5 years, but Bastian said the airline waited for technology to catch up so passengers would not deal with slow speeds.
“We didn’t just want free Wi-Fi to offer base-level service. We wanted it to be transformative for the entire onboard experience,” Bastian said in another release announcing a partnership with T-Mobile to provide the service.
“It is imperative all customers onboard can enjoy their favorite content just as they would at home, and we’ve put this system through meticulous tests to make that possible.”
T-Mobile officials noted the program applies to everyone regardless if they are T-Mobile customers.
“T-Mobile customers already get free in-flight Wi-Fi, and now we’re partnering with Delta to all customers, regardless of their wireless provider, so that anyone flying Delta can enjoy online access from takeoff to touchdown,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.
Launch Rolls Out Next Month
The program will launch on February 1 on some flights and become available on more than 700 aircraft by the end of the year.
Passengers will have entertainment options from Paramount+, real-time seatback flight notifications, the ability to order food and beverages while in first-class seating, and more.
“Every customer should enjoy a journey that is customized and curated to their needs and preferences,” said Zanjan Goswami, a senior vice president of customer experience and design. “By integrating with brands our customers know and love, we’re raising the bar even further to ensure every trip is fit for them.”
Other airlines, including JetBlue, have offered free Wi-Fi for more than 5 years. But Delta will be the first of the nation’s big three — Delta, American, and United — to provide the service.