Starting this weekend, passengers on Delta flights around the world will be able to keep in contact with their loved ones on the ground for free.
The American airline is starting a new program which allows passengers to text on Wi-Fi services like iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger free of charge.
Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi is available on most Delta flights, but for a price.
The new service, which starts October 1, is an app that allows customers to connect to the plane’s Wi-Fi for free, but only to use Wi-Fi messaging apps.
Starting October 1, Delta will be offering free Wi-Fi text messaging on all flights
The free text messaging will only be through services like iMessage, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger which use Wi-Fi and not cellphone service
The above graphic explains how passengers will be able to access the free Wi-Fi for text messaging
Passengers still won’t be able to send standard text messages since cellphone service is not available at cruising altitudes.
Delta CEO Ed Bastion announced the new program in an interview on CBS This Morning on Wednesday.
‘We’re in the business of connecting people, connecting the world, and we want our customers, while they’re flying, to stay connected to their friends, their family.
‘So we’ve developed with our partners at Gogo a free messaging app. So starting this weekend, any flight you’re on on Delta anywhere in the world, you’ll have the ability to text for free.
‘You’ll just access the app that’s on the plane itself. You won’t have to pay to get on and messaging will be free,’ he said.
Bastion took over as CEO in May of last year.
The new messaging service is part of Delta’s mutli-billion dollar investment in ‘customer experience’, according to the airline.
Customers flying on Delta flights will be able to access the app by going to airborne.gogoinflight.com.
Passengers will be allowed to send text and emojis but not photos or videos.
Delta is the first of the three U.S. global carriers to offer free Wi-Fi messaging. The two other U.S. global carriers are American Airlines and United Airlines.