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Delta Air Lines will be the first legacy U.S. airline to offer free inflight Wi-Fi for passengers, following the lead of JetBlue which has been offering its free Fly-Fi service for a number of years. This is a significant move by Delta and will allow leisure and business travelers to access the web from the sky without having to purchase an individual pass or subscription. The free Wi-Fi commences on most flights as of February 1, 2023.
Who Gets Free Wi-Fi
In order to get complimentary Wi-Fi on Delta, you need to be a Delta SkyMiles member. Delta previously trialed free Wi-Fi for Medallion elite members, but now the connectivity will be open to all, so long as you’re a SkyMiles member. Once you connect to the inflight signal you’ll be given a chance to enter your credentials, and if you’re not a SkyMiles member, you’ll be given the opportunity to join at that time.
Hot Tip: If you’re not a SkyMiles member, you’ll have the opportunity to pay $5 per segment for Wi-Fi, though in reality, no person should have to do this since it’s free to join SkyMiles and you can join inflight and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi benefits instantly.
Which Planes Are Eligible
In order to get the free Wi-Fi, you need to be on a ViaSat-equipped plane. Aircraft with other Wi-Fi providers won’t be eligible at this time, though Delta is working to make those aircraft part of the program. Delta recently announced its transition from Gogo to ViaSat for all planes, so as those aircraft move through the installation process you’ll find more and more eligible planes. Most domestic mainline planes have ViaSat, so you’ll be able to enjoy the free Wi-Fi as of February 1, 2023.
As regional jets do not have ViaSat, unfortunately, those planes will not have free Wi-Fi at this time. You can expect complimentary Wi-Fi to come to these jets, as well as wide-body jets serving international routes, in 2024.
The new Delta Sync product will offer inflight digital services and experiences for SkyMiles members. In addition to the Paramount+, Atlas Obscura, and New York Times partnerships detailed below, Delta Sync will also offer curated Amex card offers later this spring and dining guides via Resy.
Starting in February, customers will also be able to watch free Paramount+ entertainment on built-in inflight entertainment screens. This includes movies and TV shows, and you don’t need a previous subscription to watch.
Coming this spring, customers will be able to view guides to destinations throughout the world through Atlas Obscura. This will be a free service to all customers where you can explore the ins and outs of the place you’re flying to.
New York Times Games
Are you a puzzle geek? In 2023, you’ll be able to enjoy free puzzles such as Wordle and crossword puzzles thanks to a partnership with the New York Times.
Many airlines have been talking about offering free Wi-Fi to passengers for many years, and it’s exciting to see Delta be the first of the “Big 3” airlines to offer the service as of February 1 to most mainline planes. While not every aircraft will be eligible at the start, and international flights won’t be equipped until 2024, it’s exciting to see significant progress toward offering connectivity to most passengers with little hassle.
Featured Image Credit: Delta Air Lines
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