Delta Makes In-Flight WiFi Messaging Free for All

Over the years, airline customers have certainly felt the pinch as fee after fee pushed up their total cost while legroom kept shrinking smaller and smaller. Well, finally travelers seem to have a rare win in the form of a previously paid amenity being provided gratis. Delta has just announced that, beginning October 1st, passengers will be able to message friends and family while aboard Wi-Fi equipped flights free of charge!

The new offering will allow you to utilize apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp while in the air. Better yet (for Apple users, at least), iMessage is also included in the free messaging program. Previously, Gogo — which partners with several other airlines including American and Delta to provide in-flight WiFi — offered free in-flight texting to T-Mobile customers while the rest of us had to shell out $2 for messaging privileges. Now any flyer with a WiFi-equipped device can connect to the “gogoinflight” network, open their browser to airborne.gogoinflight.com, and select the free messaging pass to get texting.

While this a pretty awesome development in my eyes, sadly the full-blown WiFi is still as pricey as ever. However, if you do plan on using the Internet on an upcoming flight, I definitely recommend purchasing a pass from Gogo while you’re still on the ground. For whatever reason, the plans you can buy in the sky are elevated, so you’ll save a considerable amount of money by pre-buying, especially if you have multiple flight segments in a day. Currently, a pre-purchased domestic day pass will run you $16 while a global day pass goes for $28.

It’s also worth noting that Delta has actually been working to upgrade their current WiFi and make it faster. Their 2Ku Gogo WiFi claims speeds up to 15 Mbps and is available on select flights and aircraft types. So hopefully in the near future, the in-flight WiFi will at least be worth the money you end up spending on it.

In reality, saving $2 on a flight amenity is a small step forward, especially when you consider how much consumers have lost to airlines in the past couple decades. Still, at this point, I’ll take what I can get. It’s also nice to know that some airlines are still thinking about amenities and customer satisfaction as opposed to what other fees they can stick us with. Well done, Delta — keep ’em coming!

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

Delta Sky Club is Changing Its Rules (and Making the Amex Platinum More Valuable)

If you look on travel Twitter, Reddit, or blogs, you're likely to see complaints about lounge overcrowding. Specifically, this issue has long been discussed in relation to American Express's Centurion Lounges — which partially inspired Amex to change its entry rules to disallow free guests for most Platinum cardholders starting next...

When is the Best Time to Book a Flight?

Over the Thanksgiving travel holiday, millions of Americans returned to the skies. This actually continued a trend that’s seen demand for travel surging after two slow years. And while we all wish money were no object so that we could plan the trip of our dreams without restrictions, the fact...

Travel Tuesday: Donating Your Travel Currency on Giving Tuesday

Lest you think we're done with the retail holidays, today marks another — albeit quite different — one: Giving Tuesday. For those unaware, this is the day that emphasizes charitable donations over retail purchases. Incidentally, while travelers and credit card customers may earn various loyalty points and miles from their purchases,...