Free Mobile Messaging During Flights on Delta Air Lines Starts October 1, 2017

Delta Air Lines will become the first global carrier based in the United States to offer free mobile messaging effective as of Sunday, October 1, 2017 — meaning that:

  • More customers will have access to free mobile messaging than any other airline; and
  • Delta Air Lines will also have the most aircraft enabled with free mobile messaging

Free Mobile Messaging During Flights on Delta Air Lines Starts October 1, 2017

“This new, complimentary capability will enable customers to stay fully connected with those on the ground and exchange real time messages in flight with friends, families, colleagues, and clients via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger”, according to this article written by Catherine Sirna of Delta News Hub. “Free messaging will be available on all Gogo-enabled Delta flights, including all aircraft with two or more cabins. Customers will be able to access free messaging through Delta’s Wi-Fi portal page, Free mobile messaging will be for text use only and does not support the transfer of photo or video files.”

If you are thinking that Alaska Airlines already offers a similar service to its passengers, consider the word global means airlines operating transoceanic routes — such as American Airlines and United Airlines…

…and do not be surprised if they follow Delta Air Lines by eventually offering their own version of free mobile messaging services to their customers.


This is good news for passengers who want to stay in touch with other people — whether the purpose is for business or leisure — during a flight; and could potentially save a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent on the ground communicating before or after the flight.

I only hope that passengers who do use mobile messaging during a flight silence their portable electronic devices — but then again, the annoyance of the “clickety-clack” sound of mobile messaging would potentially pale in comparison to actual telephone calls during a flight, of which this informal and unscientific survey which I conducted in this article on Thursday, September 3, 2015 revealed that an overwhelming majority of readers of The Gate were opposed to allowing passengers to place and receive telephone calls during a flight. Fortunately, telephone calls during flights are still not permitted at this time.

As for me, I intend to use the mobile messaging service sparingly and only when necessary — to inform a person who is meeting me at the airport as to exactly when the airplane lands, for example — as I am probably one of the few people who view the time of being a passenger on an airplane as a respite from everyday life.

I would rather just stare out of the window — although there is at least one disadvantage to sitting in a seat by the window aboard an airplane — and simply listen to the music stored in my portable electronic device

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Free Mobile Messaging During Flights on Delta Air Lines Starts October 1, 2017”

  1. colleen says:

    I wonder if the incoming texts will be announced to all in the plane via the phone’s notification. Just what we need, an orchestra of notification alerts on a long trip.

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