The airline announced the introduction of a new service, called Delta Sync, on Thursday. The service is described as “all-new in-flight entertainment system…designed to offer more of what customers would find on their home smart TV,” in a press release shared with Travel + Leisure.
The most notable aspect of Delta Sync is the complimentary Wi-Fi, which Delta will provide on the majority of domestic mainline flights starting on February 1.
“At work, at home and everywhere in between, connectivity is essential to daily life, and your journey on Delta should be no different,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said recently at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show, the annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). “Our vision has long been to deliver an experience at 30,000 feet that feels close to what our customers have available on the ground.”
To offer the service, the carrier is partnering with T-Mobile and Viasat. By the end of 2023, more than 700 aircraft will have Wi-Fi, and by the end of 2024, both international and regional aircraft will have free Wi-Fi. To connect, travelers must be part of or sign up for the airline’s loyalty program, Delta SkyMiles.
Starting this summer, SkyMiles members will also have access to beta versions of the Delta Sync platform, which promises a wide range of entertainment options in addition to Wi-Fi. Passengers will be able to play New York Times games, read restaurant and travel guides by Resy and Atlas Obscura, and stream series from Paramount+, among other features. First Class customers will also be able to order meals and drinks and receive real-time flight updates.
Delta first declared its aim to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi in 2019. The airline’s website says Wi-Fi is currently offered for a fee on some flights. In addition, Delta has allowed customers to communicate in-flight via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messengers since 2017, using free in-flight messaging on mobile devices.