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Delta to roll out free in-flight mobile messaging next week

Published Sep 27th, 2017 9:01PM EDT

Delta earlier today announced plans to provider travelers with free in-flight access to mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iOS’ Messages app. The complimentary service is scheduled to go live on October 1 and should make the travel experience markedly more enjoyable for passengers eager to pass the time and connect with friends without having to pay exorbitant fees for Wi-Fi access.

It’s worth noting that Delta’s free service only applies to text-based messaging. In other words, passengers won’t be able to send or receive multimedia files such as photos and videos. Regardless, Delta’s commitment towards improving the customer experience here is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

“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,” Delta executive Tim Mapes said in a press release.

“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,” Mapes added.

Free messaging aside, Delta also announced plans to outfit more than 600 planes with high-speed Wi-Fi over the next two years. Additionally, the airline said it will continue investing in other technologies designed to make the in-flight experience more entertaining, including adding more on-demand entertainment screens to the back of seats.

All told, air travel is becoming incredibly more enjoyable than it was even a few years ago. To this point, Netflix earlier this week said it’s working with airlines to improve Wi-Fi quality on flights to help provide users with higher quality video streams while utilizing less bandwidth.

It’s a good time to be alive.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.