Delta in-flight Wi-Fi expanding to regional jets

Posted by Mark Raby

After having installed Wi-Fi service to virtually all of its mainline fleet, Delta will begin rolling out the service to its extensive collection of regional jets as well.

In-flight Wi-Fi is mainly a draw for customers on long-range flights. As such, its focus has been on large, full-size jets like Boeing and Airbus aircraft. However, some of the larger regional planes can take hauls of around two hours, making in-flight Wi-Fi a viable option there too. After all, some of the Delta's larger aircraft make shorter flights than the regional jets, depending on the route, so adding Wi-Fi to at least some of the regional jet fleet makes sense.

"We continue to make significant progress in aligning the products and services offered by our regional airline partners so that Delta customers have an experience consistent with that available aboard Delta's mainline fleet," said Delta marketing VP Tim Mapes in a statement.

The new expansion will apply only to regional jets that have a first-class cabin. This includes Canadair Regional Jet 700s and Embraear 175 planes, and encompasses pretty much all of Delta's regional partners like Shuttle America, Comair, and Atlantic Southeast. Even before this expansion, Delta is far and away the leader in in-flight Wi-Fi with more equipped planes than any other carrier in the US.

The airline's in-flight Wi-Fi access is powered by Gogo, a service from a company called Aircell. Gogo is used by almost all of the major US carriers to offer Wi-Fi access.

To have the privilege of browsing the Web on a short flight, flyers have to pony up around $10. However, through early January, anyone using Gogo can access it for free thanks to a seasonal partnership with Google.