Delta plans to offer free Wi-Fi starting in February. 1

The passenger cabin of a Delta Boeing 737-900ER is shown landing in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Delta Airlines will offer travelers free WiFi from February. 1, after years of study the opportunity.

Most U.S. flights will roll out the service next month, but it will be available on more each week, CEO Ed Bastian said during a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Delta said in a press release later Thursday that its free Wi-Fi is through a partnership with T Mobilewill be available on more than 700 aircraft by the end of 2023 and on international and regional aircraft by the end of next year.

“It’s free. There is no fine print,” said Bastian on Thursday. “We’ve invested over $1 billion to make this happen.”

Delta’s plan to make internet access free comes as airlines compete for customers after the pandemic hit nearly three years ago. Delta executives have repeatedly said the airline is targeting higher-paying customers and that revenue from premium cabins such as business class has outpaced revenue growth from standard buses.

Travelers can access the free internet service by logging in with their Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer account information, Bastian added. Although passengers require a SkyMiles account, membership is free.

Delta said last March it was adding fast Wi-Fi to more of its planes Viasat and made it available for a flat fee of $5. The carrier already offers free messages.

Most airlines charge for Wi-Fi: United Airlines charges $8 for members of its frequent flyer program and $10 for other customers and Southwest Airlines costs $8. It’s free JetBluewhich has some corporate sponsors for the service, and Hawaiian Airlines plans to offer free internet with SpaceX’s Starlink this year.

American AirlinesWi-Fi service starts at $10 and varies by route, although the airline and its provider Viasat began testing free Wi-Fi for some customers last April.

Airline executives have hesitated to offer free Wi-Fi service until it is more reliable.

Delta also said Thursday that it will unveil new inflight entertainment systems beginning later this year.

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