This blog post was updated on August 21, 2019.
Airports are hectic, we all know that. So when you’re traveling, the last thing you want is a delay of any kind to hold you up. What if you could send a message from the sky to let your ride or loved ones know of your late or early arrival? What if you could send that message for free? Well… now you can!
On October 1st, 2017 Delta Airlines began offering its Wi-Fi-enabled plane passengers, free mobile messaging — yep! Whether you’re trying to coordinate a pick-up location, or tell your car service about your flight delay, or you just want to tell your friend about the guy who won’t stop snoring next to you, now you can do it all from the sky via iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger! This free messaging is available on Gogo-enabled Delta flights through Delta’s Wi-Fi portal page, adding to the numerous perks Delta passengers are already able to enjoy such as seat-back screens, free entertainment, and High-Speed WiFi. Delta was the first of the USA’s three big global carriers (American and United Airlines are the others) to offer this freebie, but if you’re a frequent flyer of JetBlue, Alaska Airlines or Virgin America chances are that you’ve already reaped the benefits of this perk. (Source)
Following in Delta’s footsteps American Airlines also announced a soon-to-be-rolled-out inflight messaging program. Although they haven’t announced an exact date for this rollout, with all the recent upgrades and changes the airlines is making, we’re hoping to see this perk, perk up soon! (Source)
You’ve heard of WiFi… but have you heard of Fly-Fi? In January, JetBlue announced its fleet-wide rollout of its free wireless internet on all of its planes cleverly entitled Fly-Fi. Although mobile messaging isn’t free on JetBlue aircrafts, the free WiFI enables passengers to send messages (charge-free) through certain free mobile apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. (Source)
Alaska Airlines also recently launched their free inflight messaging program called Free Chat. Like Delta, this perk is also available only in Gogo® Inflight Internet-enabled aircrafts and — you guessed it — is completely free! (Nope, you don’t need to purchase the inflight WiFi for it either.) Since its inception and growing popularity, Alaska Airlines extended this complimentary communications option to all flights on merger partner Virgin America, as well. Chat away from the clouds, as you fly throughout North America! (Source)
As this aviation trend grows, it’s safe to say that you can get excited about seeing this service in more and more flights and airlines in the near future. If you’ve used this awesome perk on any of these (or other) airlines, let us know about your experience in the comments below!