After hinting that it would be coming in 2023, Delta has confirmed that all SkyMiles members will get free in-flight Wi-Fi as part of a partnership with T-Mobile. The wireless carrier already offers free Wi-Fi on Delta flights to its subscribers, but starting on February 1st, that program will expand to any SkyMiles member, regardless of whether they’re a T-Mobile customer. But — as it so often does — this free service comes with a side of targeted advertising.
Not every flight will include free Wi-Fi at first; Delta is starting domestic. According to today’s news release, “most” mainline domestic flights will be included at launch, and by the end of 2023, the service should be available on more than 700 planes. The company plans to add international and regional routes in 2024. To get online, you’ll just need a SkyMiles number, which is free to sign up for. T-Mobile SVP Kevin McLaughlin confirmed to The Verge that there would be “no session limits,” and that the service will run on Viasat’s network. Delta currently uses two Wi-Fi providers, but it bills Viasat as the more robust option with “streaming capable speeds from pushback to park.”
To get online, you’ll just need a SkyMiles number, which is free to sign up for
That’s the good news. The slightly less appealing part is that, starting this spring, the in-flight Wi-Fi connection portal will host something called the Delta Sync Exclusives hub that will feature personalized content and offers. No doubt it’s something that T-Mobile is eager to add to its advertising solutions portfolio, which it already says is home to “the nation’s largest network of moving screens” thanks to its rideshare ad program. You’ll probably have to tap past some ads to enjoy your free Wi-Fi, but hey, that’s just how the cookiepocalypse crumbles.