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Wi-Fi Arrives on Delta Regional Jets

Delta is already one of the leading U.S. carriers when it comes to in-flight internet access and now has become the first U.S. carrier to offer wireless internet access on its regional fleet:

Delta Air Lines announced Wednesday that it will become the first carrier to install Wi-Fi in its entire mainline and two-class regional fleet — or more than 800 aircraft.

To mark the decision, Delta launched a flight of a Wi-Fi-equipped regional jet, flown by Delta Connections partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines, from Atlanta on Wednesday morning, with stops in Omaha, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa; and White Plains, N.Y.

The company, which has a major hub in Salt Lake City where partner airline SkyWest handles numerous regional flights, said in a statement it would complete Wi-Fi installations on Delta Connection jets by early next year.

This is wonderful news for Delta flyers and a glaring reminder of the great disparity in the U.S. legacy aviation market between the haves and the have-nots. With Delta now installing Wi-FI on its larger regional jets, United/Continental have an even greater imperative to speed up their vague plans to equip more aircraft with Wi-Fi. As each day passes, Delta gains a competitive advantage and sooner or later even I, the United loyalist, will be tempted to switch to an airline that offers onboard internet connectivity

Booking awards is dependent upon internet access there have been many times when I simply cannot relax on a flight knowing there are people waiting for itineraries. Although there is something attractive about being disconnected from the busy world for a few hours while flying, as time goes on and I become more dependent on the internet and Skype for my livelihood, I cannot afford to be disconnected for so long.

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Comments

#1
Grant September 10, 2011 at 10:51 am

With apologies to Hunter, the last Delta flight I was on was a night Atlanta to Kansas City flight around Thanksgiving 2009. The comfortable seat pitch in coach and in-flight internet (yes, even 2 years ago) were excellent. I recall watching the Atlanta skyline out the window during takeoff and feeling like the aircraft was much nicer than those I have flown on other domestic airlines. Putting wi-fi on regional jets is impressive and gives a competitive advantage to Delta.

#2
Jamie September 12, 2011 at 01:47 pm

They made this announcement months ago, but as of last week my regional plane didn't have wi-fi. The initial group of regional planes with wi-fi is marginal. I will have to see it to believe it. They have moved back the expected date several times now.

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