Delta revealed its plans of providing free Wi-Fi on its flights eventually. The first step to achieving is testing on a handful of planes around the world. This would begin this later this month, 13th May. They have planned on offering free Wi-Fi for 55 domestic flights per day and then increase from there.
They want to test the strain this would have on the service. Hence, only a few people will have access to the in-flight service so that they can check whether their system can withstand the service. Gogo which is Delta’s current provider estimated that around 12% of passengers will be able to use this service as of now. This figure will definitely rise if the service is offered for free across its various airline partners.
During an interview, Delta’s director of Onboard Product said that testing is the primary key if they want to complete this complex program. Moreover, it will take a lot more investment, creativity and planning to achieve their goal than a simple flip of a switch.
Delta will have to spend big to install and maintain this service on their planes across different airlines. But we live in a period where airlines take a steep price and offer many free services for it like Luggage-check prices and in-flight Wi-Fi. This is an indication that airlines want to offer more at a higher price.
In the US, JetBlue is the only major US airline that is currently offering free internet access to all its passengers. But it is able to do it via corporate sponsorships. Delta hasn’t given a firm date on when their own passengers will be able to use this service on a larger scale.