Delta is rolling out a nice new benefit for travelers next month: free in-flight text messaging service on all its aircraft equipped with Gogo Internet.
The only other U.S. carrier that currently offers this handy freebie is Alaska Airlines, which introduced it last winter.
Although Alaska has exclusively offered the free texting for almost nine months now, Delta’s decision to match that amenity could put big pressure on United and American to do the same. It’s ideal for passengers who need to send a quick message to someone on the ground but don’t want to sign up for a paid Wi-Fi session.
Delta’s free texting service, which begins October 1, is available for users of iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Gogo-equipped Delta aircraft include all those with at least two cabins. To access the free texting, passengers should use Delta’s Wi-Fi portal at airborne.gogoinflight.com. It’s for sending and receiving text only – no photo or video files. In the past, this benefit was reserved for T-Mobile customers— now all passengers will enjoy it.
Delta’s offer is basically the same as Alaska’s Free Chat service, which also works with iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger via Gogo Internet. The free texting offer should help Delta in its ongoing market share battle for customers at Alaska’s Seattle hub.
The airline is gradually upgrading its inflight Wi-Fi service to Gogo’s high-speed 2Ku satellite-based technology. Over the next two years, Delta said, the faster Wi-Fi will be installed on more than 600 of its domestic and international aircraft. About 200 planes already have it.
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