Delta of­fers free mes­sag­ing

USA TODAY US Edition - - LIFE - Ben Mutz­abaugh

The lat­est free perk on U.S. air­lines: Mo­bile mes­sag­ing.

Delta Air Lines an­nounced Wed­nes­day morn­ing that cus­tomers on its Wi-Fi en­abled planes will be able to com­mu­ni­cate via iMes­sage, What­sApp and Face­book Mes­sen­ger at no charge. Delta’s free mes­sag­ing be­gins Sun­day (Oct. 1) and will be avail­able to cus­tomers whether or not they’ve paid for in-flight WiFi ac­cess.

Delta says pas­sen­gers will have the free mes­sag­ing op­tion on all of its Wi-Fi-en­abled flights. To ac­cess free mes­sag­ing, fliers on Delta can un­lock the op­tion via the car­rier’s Wi-Fi por­tal page. The op­tion will al­low text use only and will not support the trans­fer of photo or video files, ac­cord­ing to the air­line.

Delta says its move makes it the first of the USA’s three big global car­ri­ers (Amer­i­can and United are the oth­ers) to of­fer the perk. But it’s not the first over­all. Cus­tomers on JetBlue al­ready had ac­cess to free in-flight Wi-Fi, which would al­low many of the same ca­pa­bil­i­ties — plus stream­ing and Web surf­ing.

Alaska Air­lines cus­tomers have had ac­cess to free in-flight mes­sag­ing on its Wi-Fi en­abled air­craft since Jan­uary, and the air­line has since rolled out com­pli­men­tary mes­sag­ing to all flights on merger part­ner Vir­gin Amer­ica.


Pas­sen­gers can chat for free on Delta flights.

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