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Airline to Test Free WiFi

Delta won't charge passengers for internet service for two weeks
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2019 5:35 PM CDT
Delta's WiFi test is scheduled to begin this month.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
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(Newser) – Travelers can use free WiFi at their hotel, at restaurants, and sometimes in airports. But, except for JetBlue passengers, the free ride ends when they get on a plane. Delta is reconsidering that business model. The airline is says it will test free WiFi for passengers on 55 domestic flights per day for two weeks, starting May 13, the Wall Street Journal reports. As of now, internet service can cost $16 per day for domestic flights.

Delta's provider, Gogo, reported last year that fewer than 12% of passengers on all the airlines it contracts with pay for WiFi. Service hasn't been good, but many planes now have high-speed satellite service, per the Journal. Passengers still won't be able to stream video. In fact, Delta cautioned that there will be more tests after this round: "Testing will be key to getting this highly complex program right—this takes a lot more creativity, investment and planning to bring to life than a simple flip of a switch." (One airline passenger's hotspot name didn't amuse a flight crew.)

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