a person holding a phone

Give the people what they want, right?

About this time last year, Delta announced free in-flight messaging. The move sounded like the coolest and most passenger friendly move anyone had heard in a long time, and instantly got massive press coverage. People like to keep in touch, and allowing basic messaging for free is a very nice touch. Looking to cash in on the good vibes, American shortly thereafter announced plans to offer their own free messaging, but new reports suggest that it may never actually happen…

a plane flying in the skyOne Year Later

Credit to Delta – they said they’d offer free in-flight messaging on all flights, and they do. Alaska also joined in and presently offers the same and Southwest Airlines has announced free in-flight messaging starting October 2018. American Airlines promised in flight messaging in September 2017, and yet it still does not exist, for no readily understandable reason. Apparently, it’s not even really in the pipeline at the moment. American tells VFTW…

“Right now we’re focusing our investments in other areas such as fast Wi-Fi, power ports and free entertainment including live TV. We’re re-evaluating the cost and benefits of texting options but don’t have a timeline for implementation.”

a person holding a phoneFree Messaging

Free messaging is actually just about as simple as it sounds. Customers on all Delta and Alaska flights can use WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger to send text and emoji’s for free. To fire up a connection, travelers simply turn on their wifi, go to the wifi plan page and select free messaging. From there – just type away. No selfies, those cost extra.

a plane flying in the skyTraveler Friendly

Offering free messaging costs very little, and certainly doesn’t disrupt the purchase patterns of business travelers, or those requiring a robust internet connection to send photos, documents, or other rich media. Free in-flight messaging allows passengers to let friends, family, colleagues or service providers know their flight status, plan nights out, pass time and sort out the many things which make travel fun. The only question at this point, is why wouldn’t an airline embrace this fantastic trend?

How much do you value free in flight messaging?

HT: ViewFromTheWing.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. I know you say it costs very little to implement, and I imagine that’s true, but do we have an idea of what that cost looks like? Just curious.

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