January 10 2023  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Delta readies for free onboard Wi-Fi

By Alex Preston

During this year’s CES in Las Vegas, Delta unveiled a series of enhancements to the passenger experience, including free Wi-Fi

Delta is to become the first major US airline to introduce fast, free Wi-Fi regardless of cabin class.

In partnership with T-Mobile, the service will be available on most domestic mainline aircraft by February 1, with more than 700 Viasat-equipped aircraft coming online by the end of 2023. Full availability on international and regional aircraft is expected by the end of 2024.

In accompanying press materials, Delta CEO Ed Bastian, the keynote guest opening the CES C Space program in Las Vegas, stated that “At work, at home and everywhere in between, connectivity is essential to daily life, and your journey on Delta should be no different. 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.

“At T-Mobile, we believe staying connected while traveling should be an easy, seamless experience,” said Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO, in the same release. “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.”

Passengers will be able to access the service by logging in using their Delta SkyMiles® account or joining SkyMiles on the ground or in the air for free to connect.

Delta also announced its plans for 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 beloved brands that are mainstays of everyday life. Delta will launch Delta Sync Exclusives hub later this spring.

Bastian used his presence at CES to also announce the launch of Delta Sync, which brings together content, access and offers for SkyMiles Members from the airline’s brand partners. This includes T-Mobile, American Express, Paramount+, Resy, Atlas Obscura and New York Times Games.

"Every customer should enjoy a journey that is customized and curated to their needs and preferences," said Ranjan Goswami, S.V.P. – Customer Experience Design in a January 5 press statement. "By integrating with brands our customers know and love, we're raising the bar even further to ensure every trip is fit for them."

“We didn’t just want free Wi-Fi to offer base-level service — we wanted it to be transformative for the entire onboard experience,” said Bastian in CES press materials. “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.”

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