Delta taking steps toward free inflight WiFi

Delta will
begin its first free WiFi trial next week as it works toward making the service
a standard free offering in all fare classes across its network. 

are accustomed to having access to free WiFi during nearly every other aspect
of their journey, and Delta believes it should be free when flying, too,”
Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta’s director of onboard product, said in an announcement
Thursday. “Testing will be key to getting this highly complex program
right – this takes a lot more creativity, investment and planning to bring to
life than a simple flip of a switch.”

Under the
initial trial, customers on approximately 55 domestic flights per day will have
internet access free of charge. The test will not support streaming, but will
enable customers on those flights to browse the web, send emails, shop and use social
media. Delta already offers free mobile messaging on most

The trial starts May 13 and will last two weeks.

Delta said
it plans to learn about system performance and customers’ preferences during the test. There will likely be several more test phases prior to
Delta rolling out free WiFi as a standard offering. 

initial test will be limited to domestic aircraft equipped with Delta’s fastest
WiFi, the high-speed 2Ku service provided by Gogo. Customers will be notified
by Delta via email or a Fly Delta app push notification if they have been
selected for the upcoming free trial. 

JetBlue is
currently the only U.S. carrier that offers free WiFi.

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