Great news about WiFi on Hawaii flights today. It is now very quickly heading from paid to free, and this time, that envelope is being pushed by Delta Airlines.
Starting February 1, 2023, Delta Air Lines will provide free Wi-Fi for all passengers (although free SkyMiles membership may be required). The airline has been planning on making it free for years but finally has the technology ready to do so. Free WiFi will fulfill Delta’s 2018 promise of “We’re going to make it free.”
The service will be in conjunction with T-Mobile, and is called Delta Sync. Company CEO Ed Bastian said, “Delta Sync elevates what it means to be a Delta SkyMiles Member by enabling a journey that fits you perfectly and grows more rewarding the more you travel. The future of travel is one where your digital and physical experiences come together in a seamless, warm, and personal way.”
Other airlines are still charging but not for long.
American Airlines continues to charge fees for WiFi. United charges $8-10, while Alaska and Southwest charge $8. Delta will be the first major to drop the gauntlet on WiFi charging, as has been long anticipated.
We can’t say how quickly other airlines will follow Delta’s lead, but we guess it will come very soon.
Hawaiian Airlines’ free WiFi is up next.
Hawaiian Airlines’ launch of its highly touted Starlink Wifi is due to begin at any point, and definitely this year. Last fall Hawaiian’s WiFi was tested, and it was impressive, delivering what will be YouTube, Netflix, and video chat capabilities over the Pacific Ocean at 30k feet.
Starlink will provide the WiFi via a series of small low-altitude satellites. Those signals should be stronger with less lag than current WiFi offerings, especially those found on flights to Hawaii.
Hawaiian Airlines WiFi will be free for all passengers flying on 189-seat A321 planes and 278-seat A330 planes. It will also be on their new 301-passenger Dreamliners when those arrive. There is no plan to bring WiFi to Hawaiian’s interisland fleet.