More than 430 aircraft on Delta’s mainline fleet now are equipped to offer Wi-Fi service while passengers are above 10,000 feet in the air, and more than 1 million customers have logged onto the digital mile-high club.
Delta was one of the first major airlines in the US to sign onto in-flight Wi-Fi and commit to bringing the option to every one of its hundreds of planes. The airline offers the service through a company called Aircell. Aircell launched its “Gogo” in-flight Internet in 2008, and premiered the service with the revolutionary new airline Virgin America. The idea of surfing the Web high above the sky was too good to resist, and other airlines quickly signed on. Delta was Gogo’s third customer, after American Airlines. Aircell now has deals with virtually every major US-based airline.
The only notable exception is Southwest Airlines, which does offer in-flight Wi-Fi service but does so through a competing service from Row 44. Southwest is Row 44’s only client. All of Delta’s Boeing 737-700, 737-800, 767-300, and 757-200, along with all its McDonnel Douglas MD88 and MD90 aircraft have been outfitted with Wi-Fi, and the remaining planes should be all complete by the end of the summer. This does not, however, include Delta’s Connection carriers, and the company currently has no plans to outfit those aircraft. It costs around $10 – $13 to purchase Wi-Fi access during a flight, depending on the duration. Gogo also offers a $50 monthly subscription package.