Delta is making it easier to stay connected to the world while flying above it.
The airline said Wednesday it's making it free to send messages mid-flight via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger (but not regular SMS text messages).
This means you won't have to pay for WiFi to send a message.
The airline says it'll be the first U.S.-based global carrier to offer free mobile messaging. (T-Mobile already offers in-flight texts on several airlines.)
You'll be able to start messaging people on Sunday, so long as the flight you're on has WiFi. (Most of them do – Delta has 1,300 planes worldwide, and all but 130 of them have WiFi, Delta told CNN.)
All you have to do is go to Delta's WiFi page (airborne.gogoinflight.com) while in the air to get started.
However, you won't be able to send photos or video, so you'll have to wait to send that photo of the clouds until you land.
With the addition of texting on flights, does this mean Delta will allow people to make phone calls in the future? Delta CEO Ed Bastian told CNN "never in my lifetime." (And don't worry, the FCC doesn't want people to be able to do this either.)
Adding free messaging on most of its flights is part of Delta's multi-billion dollar investment to improve travelers' experiences while flying, which include a bunch of free entertainment options. Others are:
– Expanding high-speed WiFi to more than 600 planes over the next two years. With this 2Ku WiFi, travelers will be able to stream video and use work-related networks like VPN anywhere in the world.
– Delta's also installing more planes with those seat-back screens. At least 500 planes already have them, and the airline says by the end of 2018 it hopes to have these screens on 600 planes.
Delta Air Lines is the largest carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.