“At work, at home and everywhere in between, connectivity is essential to daily life, and your journey on Delta should be no different,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. “Our vision has long been to deliver an experience at 30,000 feet that feels close to what our customers have available on the ground.”
Since more users will likely make use of this free service than ever paid for it, the airline put a lot of emphasis on hardening its systems in recent months. Delta said it worked with engineers at Viasat to test and scale its in-flight connectivity service to enable this rollout.
“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. “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.”
To use this service, fliers have to be members of Delta’s SkyMiles frequent flier service (though as a spokesperson told me, they’ll be able to sign up an account while on the plane, too). Even though this service is rolling out in partnership with T-Mobile, you don’t have to be a T-Mobile customer to use it.
“It’s going to be available to everyone,” Bastian said today. “Doesn’t matter what price you paid for your seat, what class of service you chose, what credit card you used, what mobile carrier you’re connected to — it’s going to be free to all and it’s something that is so important to the way. The good news is there’s no fine print. It’s free.”
One thing worth noting, as Bastian confirmed in his keynote today, the free Wi-Fi will extend to however many devices you have with you, not just a single phone or laptop.
Indeed, the new Delta Sync on Demand will provide fliers with a personalized seatback entertainment system that is more akin to the smart TV they have at home, Delta promises. For now, on top of the entertainment content, this will include food and beverage ordering in first class, a new journey planned, content recommendations and real-time notifications. The airline plans to start rolling some of the initial features of this system out by the end of the year, though many of the personalization features will only launch after that.
As Bastian also today noted, Paramount+ is going to be a partner with free Paramount+ streaming on board Delta’s plane. These new Delta Sync experiences will roll out over the course of 2023.
“Delta Sync elevates what it means to be a Delta SkyMiles Member by enabling a journey that fits you perfectly and grows more rewarding the more you travel,” said Bastian. “The future of travel is one where your digital and physical experiences come together in a seamless, warm and personal way, making those human travel connections even more meaningful.”
Delta launches free Wi-Fi by Frederic Lardinois originally published on TechCrunch