FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Delta Air Lines Introduces Free WiFi on Domestic Flights: Should All Domestic Airlines Do the Same?

by Aoife O’Riordan

Jan 18, 2023

© Boarding1now – Dreamstime.com

eFlyer Lead

Beginning Feb. 1, Delta Air Lines will become the first major U.S. airline to offer fast and free WiFi to all passengers, thanks to the airline’s partnership with T-Mobile. The airline also hopes to provide free WiFi on international and regional aircraft by the end of 2024.

“At work, at home and everywhere in between, connectivity is essential to daily life, and your journey on Delta should be no different,” said Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Air Lines. “Our vision has long been to deliver an experience at 30,000 feet that feels similar to what our customers have available on the ground.”

Passengers on Delta aircraft can log in using their Delta SkyMiles account, join SkyMiles on the ground or create an account in the air for free to connect to WiFi. Delta Air Lines worked with engineers from Viasat, a satellite internet service provider, to provide best-in-class, in-flight connectivity. Delta Air Lines expects to offer the free WiFi service on more than 700 Viasat-equipped aircraft by the end of 2023.

The recent announcement of Delta Air Lines’ adoption of free WiFi on domestic flights now begs the question: Why don’t all airlines offer free WiFi on domestic flights? Apart from Delta Air Lines, JetBlue is the only other airline offering free, high-speed WiFi at every seat on the plane. The airline introduced free WiFi back in 2017 and continues to offer it into 2023.

All JetBlue-operated flights provide coverage over the continental United States and, more recently, the airline now offers expanded coverage over much of Central America and the Caribbean. JetBlue’s Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft allows guests to enjoy expanded coverage to and from London, as well.

Aside from these two airlines, passengers on other airlines either must pay a fee to access WiFi or, for those unwilling to pay, choose to unplug for the duration of the flight. Outside of the United States, only a few international airlines provide free WiFi. Emirates provides it to Emirates Skywards members; Qantas offers passengers free WiFi on all domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 flights within Australia; Air New Zealand features free WiFi onboard all of its Airbus 320neo jets; and Norwegian Airlines offers unlimited access on shorter intra-European flights.

Some airlines, like Aer Lingus and Philippine Airlines, provide free WiFi for select passengers or for a selected amount of time. Passengers traveling business class on Aer Lingus, as well as AerClub Concierge members, enjoy free WiFi. On select international Philippine Airlines’ flights, passengers can access 30 minutes of free WiFi or 15MB of data.

One argument against free WiFi focuses on the issue of too many users, which can result in less bandwidth per passenger. Too many users could crash the system, leaving everyone without access. Moreover, airlines receive additional income from passengers willing to pay for in-flight WiFi.

But, in an age where technology continues to advance at exponential speeds, many wonder why airlines choose not to better WiFi systems. For one, the process of switching out systems requires time and money, as many aircraft must be taken out of rotation to have new systems installed.

As Delta Air Lines implements free WiFi starting in February, we can see whether or not the initiative proves effective and worthwhile. After all, sometimes disconnecting from the rest of the world while thousands of the feet in the sky can serve as a nice break.

Do you think more airlines should offer free WiFi? Do you pay for WiFi when flying? What are the benefits/drawbacks of airlines implementing free WiFi service? Tell us your thoughts. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
May 17, 2024

Hawk’s Cay Resort Launches New Vacay Pup Program

For travelers who take their dogs everywhere, Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key in the Florida Keys would be a great destination. The largest resort in the Keys has started a Vacay Pup pet-friendly program that includes an array of special amenities and experiences, including the resort's Pup Planner, select dining options, unique activities and additional features, all created to enhance the stay for guests and their pet(s).

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

May 17, 2024

InterContinental Dominica Offers Complimentary “Luxperiences”

InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa sets a new standard in luxury travel by offering premium amenities with immersive local experiences. With a demand for more lavish accommodations, hotel guests who book luxury accommodations can participate in unparalleled comfort while exploring Dominica’s vibrant culture.

May 17, 2024

Hilton’s Expansion and Openings in 2024

Hilton will expand its global footprint this year with plans to enter five new markets. The company now has more new rooms under construction than any other hotel company, with approximately one in every five hotel rooms under construction globally slated to join the company’s portfolio.

The Argosaronic Islands Are Calling

The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.

May 16, 2024

Germany’s Museum Ritter Presents Laurenz Theinert: Missing Darkness

Based in Stuttgart, contemporary artist Laurenz Theinert moves photography into an ethereal dimension using a blend of light and his own imaginative intuition. Through Sept. 15, visitors to Museum Ritter in Waldenbuch, Germany, can immerse themselves in Theinert’s world of visual language as expressed through light and sound performances, light art, installations and photographic works.

eFlyer News
May 15, 2024

JetBlue Announces New Year-Round Service from New York (JFK) to Puerto Rico, Bonaire

JetBlue announced its first year-round, non-stop service from New York (JFK) to Bonaire (BON), providing travelers with more options in getting to the Dutch Caribbean island. The frequency of this flight is to be announced at a later date.

Hotel Indigo: The World’s Neighborhood Hotel

Part of the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio, Hotel Indigo is the world’s neighborhood hotel that celebrates how guests can discover, or rediscover, some of the most inspiring and culturally rich neighborhoods around the world. When staying at a Hotel Indigo hotel, it's not just about visiting a place — it's about being fully immersed in the neighborhood and wanting to take a little bit of it home. When traveling for business, Hotel Indigo offers a unique experience tailored to each location, making it the perfect choice to stay while traveling for work. With IHG Business Edge, travel managers have exclusive access to enticing perks, comprehensive travel metrics and carefully curated educational resources. It also includes a guaranteed discount on both business and personal travel for managers and employees, alongside an automatic upgrade to IHG One Rewards Silver Elite status after the initial IHG Business Edge stay.

eFlyer News
May 15, 2024

Qatar Airways, Cardless Debut U.S. Credit Cards

Qatar Airways’ loyalty program, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, and Cardless recently launched two new credit cards for the U.S. market. Qatar Airways Privilege Club is the first international airline loyalty program to introduce a Visa Infinite credit card in the United States. Cardless, a leading financial technology firm, is the inaugural fintech startup to introduce this card, as well.