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Never miss an emoji. Even when you’re at 40,000 feet.

Andrea Romano
September 27, 2017

Delta Air Lines announced on Wednesday that customers on its Wi-Fi-enabled planes will be able to communicate via iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, for free.

“We want our customers while they're flying to stay connected to their homes, to their friends,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said on CBS This Morning.

The free messaging service will be available beginning on Sunday, October 1, and will be available to customers whether or not they’ve paid for in-flight Wi-Fi access.

As USA Today reported, Delta is not the first airline to offer the perk. Customers on JetBlue, for example, already had access to free in-flight Wi-Fi, which would allow many of the same capabilities.

Bastian noted during the interview on CBS This Morning that part of the difficulties with offering perks such as free text messaging is finding bandwidth for Wi-Fi. Passengers expect the kind of connection speeds they get on the ground, even while flying across continents. While airlines and companies like Gogo and ViaSat continue to work on in-flight technology, other companies like entertainment services also want to see better service in the air: Netflix has even offered the company’s bandwidth technology to help speed up in-flight video.

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