ATLANTA — From an airplane 30,000 feet in the air, a text message pops up on a smart phone on the ground. “Looks like my flight is arriving ahead of schedule,” the message reads. “Should be ready for pickup 15 minutes early.”
Beginning Oct. 1, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will become the first U.S. global carrier* to offer free mobile messaging, providing more customers access to free messaging than any other carrier. The airline will also have the most aircraft enabled with free messaging.
This new, complimentary capability will enable customers to stay fully connected with those on the ground and exchange real time messages in flight with friends, families, colleagues, and clients via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The enhancement is part of Delta’s multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience.
“We know many of Delta’s customers want or need to stay connected in the air and on the ground, which is why we’re investing in an easy, free way to send and receive messages inflight through some of the most popular global platforms,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Coupled with our investments in seat-back screens, free entertainment and High-Speed Wi-Fi, free messaging is one more way customers can choose how to make the most of their time on Delta flights.”
Free messaging will be available on all Gogo-enabled Delta flights, including all aircraft with two or more cabins. Customers will be able to access free messaging through Delta’s Wi-Fi portal page, airborne.gogoinflight.com. Free mobile messaging will be for text use only and does not support the transfer of photo or video files.
In addition to mobile messaging, Delta continues expanding High-Speed Wi-Fi, seat-back entertainment screens and free entertainment to give travelers more choice and flexibility in how to spend their time from takeoff to touchdown.
Delta’s High-Speed Wi-Fi, powered by Gogo’s 2Ku Wi-Fi technology, is delivering next-generation technology that provides consistent, uninterrupted coverage anywhere in the world, including over oceans. Delta has the largest current fleet of Gogo 2Ku aircraft and the largest commitment to 2Ku of any airline in the world. Over the next two years, Delta is set to install over 600 aircraft with High-Speed Wi-Fi for domestic and international flights.
The airline’s High-Speed 2Ku Wi-Fi gives customers an at-home experience in flight, including the ability to stream video and use work-related networks, such as VPN, globally. Unlike prior versions of in-flight technology on Delta, customers may now use Wi-Fi from gate to gate on 2Ku-enabled aircraft. To date, the airline has installed 200 aircraft with the improved Wi-Fi technology.
Additionally, Delta offers customers more aircraft with seatback entertainment than any airline in the world, installing its 500th aircraft with seat-back entertainment in July. With a commitment to install over 600 aircraft with seat-back screens by the end of 2018, in partnership with Panasonic, Delta is putting choice in the hands of the customer. In addition to investing in seat-back entertainment, customers can also choose to stream Delta Studio to their personal devices on the airline’s entire mainline fleet as well as all two-class regional aircraft.
*U.S. Global Carrier = U.S.-based airlines operating trans-oceanic routes: Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines
Investing in the Customer Experience
This latest enhancement is part of the airline’s multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience that includes a cabin modernization program featuring new seats, seatback entertainment systems with free entertainment, high-capacity overhead bins, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights, free Main Cabin meals on select flights, upgraded Main Cabin snacks, an Alessi-designed collection of serviceware, Westin Heavenly® In-Flight Bedding, chef-curated meals paired with wines hand-selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, noise-canceling LSTN headphones and more.
Over the past year, Delta has also led the industry on a number of customer solutions with a redesigned gate and boarding experience, biometric-based self-service bag drop, RFID baggage handling, real-time bag tracking via the Fly Delta mobile app, more efficient and high-tech automated screening lanes and a groundbreaking app that helps Delta pilots avoid turbulence for a more comfortable flight.
Additionally, Delta has made significant investments in the customer experience on the ground, in addition to plans to add nearly 250 new aircraft to its fleet in coming years. These include new Delta Sky Club locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Seattle, and Club renovations in Nashville, Dallas, Newark, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, airport enhancement programs in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Salt Lake City, and the testing and implementation of an enhanced boarding process in Atlanta.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2017, Delta was named to Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the sixth time in seven years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented six consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 315 destinations in 54 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry’s leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Seoul, and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub, Google.com/+Delta, and Facebook.com/delta.
Source: Delta Air Lines