Let’s face it – we must be internet connected 24/7. We need to be productive when we travel and get data that impacts us along the way. Beyond our needs we have the wants of sharing and staying connected to share our adventures.
One of the things I really love about Delta is they are 100% Gogo (even though they last year about this time changed the SSID over to DeltaWifi). With Delta, you are still many times getting ground based wifi on Delta jets that can result in lack luster performance. This compared to the simply amazing speed you can get with 2Ku (see this post for a tour of the Gogo plant in Chicago). Also with 2Ku you are often able to connect right away and have gate-to-gate high speed connectivity. I love it. Gogo is not cheap – but that could change fast.
Just published today in Barron’s notice what the Delta CEO Ed Bastian said:
“One initiative is rolling out high-speed Wi-Fi on its aircraft. A majority of Delta planes now have it, but it costs $16 a day for North American travel, or $599.99 for an annual pass. “Our goal is to make Wi-Fi free with high-speed quality,” Bastian said. “It will take another year or two to make that happen.” – from Barrons.com (bold mine)
Wow! Delta could be offering free high-speed wifi in a year (or two). That is amazing and I am thrilled Delta is doing this. I can see this perk alone as a reason many will not just choose to fly Delta but to even pay a little more for tickets over the competition. Just brilliant.
Now the downside (there always is a downside – right). Will free wifi for all impact the performance? Maybe. Will the free wifi be throttled? No idea but I bet it will be. Will it still be worth it to pay for Gogo if you can get it free? For the few time a year flyer, no, but for monthly flyers it will depend on the speed you get vs. the free.
Bottom line is Delta is clearly pushing to get this done and done fast. This should make the other domestic airlines very afraid. – René