LAS VEGAS — Delta Air Lines will provide free Wi-Fi service on most of its U.S. flights starting in February.
The airline said Thursday that by the end of the year it will outfit more than 700 planes with high-speed, satellite-based broadband service from T-Mobile and plans to expand free Wi-Fi to international and Delta Connection flights by the end of 2024.
The service will use equipment from Viasat, a U.S.-based satellite broadband provider.
Many airlines are upgrading Internet access on their planes so passengers can stay connected or stream entertainment on their electronic devices. New York-based JetBlue Airways already provides free Wi-Fi service to passengers, but Delta’s announcement puts it ahead of its largest rivals: American, United and Southwest.
Delta made the announcement during the CES technology trade show in Las Vegas. CEO Ed Bastian said the airline is striving to make connectivity on board planes similar to what travelers experience on the ground.
Customers will need an account in Delta’s SkyMiles frequent-flyer program, which is free to join, to use the Wi-Fi service.