Delta Air Lines wants your loyalty. That much is pretty apparent as the carrier rolls out a series of benefits that will be exclusively available to customers who are members of the airline’s mileage program, Delta SkyMiles. The most impressive of the new offers is free Wi-Fi, which will be made available to SkyMiles members on the majority of domestic flights (excluding some shorter regional routes) starting on February 1. It puts Delta in a similar league as JetBlue Airways in terms of making free in-flight Wi-Fi widely available to travelers.
While some other airlines have been testing the option of free Wi-Fi—American Airlines recently did a trial run, and Hawaiian Airlines has plans to offer free high-speed satellite Wi-Fi on select transpacific flights starting sometime in 2023—up until now, JetBlue has been the only airline within the United States to offer free Wi-Fi on every flight.
While Delta’s free Wi-Fi will only be available to SkyMiles members, there is no minimum mileage requirement for accessing the perk. So, essentially anyone can create a SkyMiles account to unlock the complimentary connectivity, which is being made available via a partnership with T-Mobile, and will be rolled out on most international aircraft by mid-2024, according to Delta.
“Delta Sync elevates what it means to be a Delta SkyMiles Member by enabling a journey that fits you perfectly and grows more rewarding the more you travel,” said CEO Ed Bastian from the keynote stage at CES. “The future of travel is one where your digital and physical experiences come together in a seamless, warm, and personal way.”
Once logged into their devices via the free Wi-Fi, Delta SkyMiles members will also then be able to access several exclusive in-flight entertainment and experience hubs, including:
- Paramount+, a TV show and movie streaming service
- New York Times games (hello, Wordle and crossword fans)
- Atlas Obscura for travel guides and inspiration
- Resy for restaurant recommendations
- American Express offers
Eventually, the hubs will be available whether customers log into their account on their own personal devices or on their seatback screens.
Further down the line (and beginning as early as this summer), the Delta Sync on-demand system will also allow First Class passengers to order food and drinks from their screens, and will provide SkyMiles members with a new trip planner function and real-time seatback flight notifications, among other personalized content options.