Did you know you may now be able to stay in touch for free on Hawaii flights? Also, if you get on a Hawaiian Airlines flight next week (as we’ll be doing), you may notice that something familiar is missing. Here’s an update on what’s happening with three important features on Hawaii flights.
Free Texting on Hawaii Flights
Two airlines are offering free texting. One currently has it available, and the other one will soon add it.
1. Delta Airlines free texting. Starting last fall, Delta became the first airline to offer free texting even on over water flights. You can use multiple text applications including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, iMessage, and Telegram. It does not support native SMS text messaging, images or videos. We can attest to this working brilliantly as we were able to text while flying between the US mainland and Hawaii, as well as over the North Atlantic.
2. Alaska Airlines free texting. Alaska offers essentially the same free texting service as Delta. It works with multiple text applications including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and iMessage. Starting later in 2018, Alaska Airlines will also be offering this as they add WiFi on Hawaii flights. Alaska Airlines’ Virgin America flights, already provides the text free offer.
3. American airlines free texting. The company announced last fall that they also plan to offer free texting. Details and a timetable were not announced. The company currently charges for texts.
3. Other airlines. At the present time no other airlines are offering free texting on Hawaii flights.
WiFi on Hawaii Flights
We recently updated our post on WiFi on Hawaii flights. You’ll notice that most airlines flying to Hawaii either offer WiFi for a fee or soon will be. The only Hawaii carrier without a current WiFi offering is Hawaiian Airlines. We’ll follow up on that soon.
In Flight Entertainment on Hawaii Flights
As you may have read, change is in the air on seat back entertainment. Based partly on customer demand and the ubiquity of personal electronic devices, airlines are now moving away from expensive to provide seat back screens. But will this move be popular?
1. Hawaiian Airlines. If you fly on any of Hawaiian’s new A321neo airplanes starting next week, you’ll find there is no longer seat back entertainment. Instead the company will offer streaming entertainment via their iPhone and Android apps. Don’t forget to 1) download before you fly and 2) bring a charger cord! The wide-body A330 fleet continues to offer seat back entertainment.
“With the 321, we recognized a couple of things that are changing in the environment around us that really informed our decision. The majority of people are showing up with a device of their own, and they’re ignoring the devices we offer in-seat. We’re focused on the fact that most people are bringing devices on.”
2. Alaska Airlines. Alaska also offers stream entertainment on its flights to Hawaii. To access it you need to download the GoGo Entertainment app for iPhone and Android. As an option, you can also rent a tablet with entertainment from Alaska Airlines.
3. Other airlines. Carriers with large and mixed fleets (the US legacy carriers) have a mix of entertainment options. American Airlines has opted to move away from seat back entertainment on one of its new fleets, the 737MAX. The carrier said: “More than 90 percent of our passengers already bring a device or screen with them when they fly. Those phones and tablets are continually upgraded, they’re easy to use, and most importantly, they are the technology that our customers have chosen.”
Please chime in on your take. Even at Beat of Hawaii we differ on seat back in-flight entertainment and other airline provided devices. Rob likes to use these and Jeff prefers to use his own smartphone.