“Entertainment will continue to be a differentiator for Delta moving forward.” With that comment during the company’s quarterly earnings call Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian summed up the company’s intentions toward delivering complimentary inflight wifi and connectivity to passengers on board. He didn’t specifically say free, but that is absolutely part of the plan. Don’t expect that transition to happen too soon, however. The carrier still intends significant additional testing before getting to fully free for travelers.
Read More: Delta moves towards free inflight wifi
The most recent tests, conducted for two weeks in May 2019, offered lots of data for Delta to consider and process. Bastian described the results with some optimism, “We learned a lot about the technical capacity challenges that you face when you want to open WiFi up free with great broadband capabilities across the network.” He also noted that more tests will be needed before the company is ready to fully activate the service for passengers. Details on when those additional tests would occur were not shared, though “later this year” is part of the plan for now.
In addition to being good news for passengers the trend towards free (to passengers) WiFi on board is also good news for the companies that deliver those services to the airlines. In this case it is Gogo that stands to benefit as it is the sole supplier of inflight connectivity services across Delta’s fleet.