Delta partners with Viasat for onboard Wi-Fi12 January 2021
Delta customers are one step closer to a seamless, personalized in-flight experience built on industry-leading Wi-Fi. This comes after the airline recently finalized a partnership with high-speed Wi-Fi provider Viasat and took steps to launch the Delta-developed Wi-Fi access portal – a user interface that enhances how you interact with Wi-Fi. Adding Viasat’s next-generation satellite technology (Ka-Band) to the fleet gives Delta more options to modernize how customers can stay connected and enjoy content during travel.
“Staying connected is a key part of our customers’ lives both at home and during travel, and we are taking big leaps forward to deliver an unparalleled experience that puts connectivity and personalization front and center,” Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director of Brand Experience – In-Flight Entertainment & Wi-Fi. “Best-in-class in-flight connectivity takes our vision for a reimagined brand experience to the next level and has long been a focus for us as a business.
Since the onset of the pandemic, we accelerated to deliver an enhanced customer experience in many ways – from industry-leading cleanliness to future-ready technology – to benefit customers as we welcome them back to travel.”
Viasat’s high-speed satellite-powered technology will greatly enhance Delta’s offering by providing additional capability and next-gen technology to make sure customers have a faster and more consistent connection to their favorite sites including the ability to stream the entertainment of their choice during their flight. It also lays the groundwork for future enhancements and personalization with the seatback screen.
This move is a significant step on Delta’s journey to offering free Wi-Fi. Its Free Wi-Fi pilot in spring 2019 provided valuable insights to better understand the challenges to providing a service that meets Delta’s standard of being both high-quality and having the streaming capability required to meet demand.
Beginning this summer, the Delta-developed Wi-Fi access portal is an interface that integrates in-flight Wi-Fi and other day-of-travel features under one roof. It is built to work with Viasat and acts as the front page to the customer’s experience – the first thing that will greet them as they connect to the onboard Wi-Fi. Customers will have the opportunity to purchase Wi-Fi access and still enjoy free mobile messaging and access their favorite Delta.com services, with much more planned in the future.
“We are consistently looking for new ways to delight our customers, and the portal opens the door to new personalized experiences that our customers will look forward to every time they fly with us,” added Dimbiloglu.
Over the past few years, Delta has added seatback screens to nearly all its mainline fleet and have expanded offerings – including new partnerships with Hulu and Disney+, additional podcasts, and health and wellness options – to ensure every customer has an opportunity to unplug with options similar to what they would find at home.
The new technology will be initially rolled out on Delta’s new A321ceo1, 737-900ER and select 757-200 aircraft, totaling more than 300 mainline narrowbody aircraft, with opportunities for additional aircraft in the future. The portal will be rolled out in tandem with new installations of the Viasat system, with the goal of offering the unified and consistent experience across all Viasat Wi-Fi enabled aircraft.
To meet its long-term goals, Delta will work closely with multiple Wi-Fi suppliers, including both Gogo and Viasat. Working with multiple partners means the airline can pair the right technology with the right fleet to ensure customers always have access to Wi-Fi when available.