Exciting news, frequent fliers. You won’t have to miss out on messages while you’re in the air, thanks to one airline’s new free in-flight messaging.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced on CBS This Morning Wednesday that the company will offer a free in-flight messaging service starting this weekend. It means that passengers can use use iMessage, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger on planes with wifi—without paying for internet service.
“We want our customers while they’re flying to stay connected to their homes, to their friends,” Bastian said. We can also see this helping with the often hairy airport pickup situation, especially when flights are delayed, or on those magical unicorn of occasions, ahead of schedule.
Thankfully, it looks like email access won’t be free, so don’t feel like you have to answer that message from your coworker.
Bastian mentioned that they’re still trying to solve the issues with wifi, but is hopeful:
“People want Wi-Fi. The problem we have is the bandwidth still isn’t strong enough – the satellite bandwidth,” he said. “Today, we still have to charge too much because the quality is not there yet. But we’ll eventually get to a point where there’s free service in the air and you’ll have ubiquitous service and capacity in the cabin.”
And when asked about whether cell phone use in the air would ever happen, he had this to say: “Never. Never in my lifetime.”
Let’s hope he lives forever. We can only imagine the torture of getting sat next to the jerk who yaps into his phone for six hours. Flying is hard enough.
h/t Travel + Leisure