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Delta Air Lines Is Reportedly Boosting Free Flight WiFi

The carrier is said to plan to increase the number of flights that have free internet, starting in the new year.

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Delta Air Lines will start to implement free WiFi on its planes beginning in the new year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bloomberg / Contributor
A traveler in 2018 working from the Salt Lake City airport in 2018.

The outlet cited "people familiar with the matter."

The plan is reportedly to add WiFi "on a significant portion of its airplanes before turning on the service on more of its fleet through next year," the outlet wrote.

Delta recovered in the second quarter this year to its pre-pandemic revenue levels, per Airline Weekly

Delta CEO, Ed Bastian, has also said going back as early as 2018 that he wants WiFi to be free on planes — but it's no simple thing to achieve, technologically speaking.

In 2021, the company began working with communications provider Viasat to give customers better internet service, which you can buy for $5 on some of the company's planes.

Southwest briefly tested free WiFi offerings earlier this year for a little over a month. JetBlue is currently the only carrier that currently provides free internet for all passengers.

Ryan Ewing, founder of the blog AirlineGeeks, told Condé Nast Traveler earlier this year that it is expensive to add WiFi to planes.

"It can cost millions of dollars just to equip one airplane with high-speed internet," he said.

"It's certainly not cheap. It depends a lot [more] on the actual hardware than it does on just flipping a switch and going, 'Okay, can we make it free?'" he added.

Delta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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