What Happened: In 2023, Delta Air Lines plans to gradually roll out free in-flight WiFi on many of its flights. If successful, more travelers will be able to stay connected mid-flight without spending extra money. It's expected that fliers would need to enter their SkyMiles loyalty number to access the Internet. This membership program is free to join.
So What: Delta is a major U.S. airline with a loyal customer base. The airline and most of its competitors provide WiFi service, when available, at an additional cost. Costs vary, but free WiFi service available to all fliers (regardless of airline status or ticket type) is not typical. JetBlue is the only U.S.-based airline that offers free WiFi to all fliers.
If Delta begins offering free WiFi to all customers on all flights, it may entice other carriers to do the same. Airline ticket costs are high, so this would be welcome news to frequent fliers as it would cut down on additional travel expenses and provide more incentive to fly with Delta.
At this time, Delta is testing its WiFi infrastructure by rolling out this feature to select travelers on select routes. As noted in The Wall Street Journal, when asked for more information about this news in November, Delta Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband said, "It's complex to do, but we are actively testing it right now, and it's working."
Now What: No one likes being nickel and dimed with extra fees. This change would allow more travelers to remain connected without paying an extra expense. However, this news may have some Delta cardholders wondering if they will get less value from their airline credit cards if it's implemented.
The good news is Delta cardholders likely won't experience a loss of value from their cards. That's because no Delta cards currently offer free WiFi as a perk. Delta credit cards include in-flight discounts in the form of a statement credit. However, Wi-Fi purchases aren't eligible.
No matter which credit card you have in your wallet, regularly reviewing your card benefits is good practice to ensure you continue to get value from the card. If you're ready for a change, you may want to explore other travel rewards credit cards.
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