While Delta has floated the idea of complimentary in-flight wi-fi internet for years, there’s one big roadblock: bandwith. So says Delta CEO Ed Bastian.
Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, Bastian lauded internet availability on Delta and expressed his commitment to make it free for all passengers. Bastian noted that all but the carrier’s smallest regional jets offer internet access, adding:
“I’m a firm believer that we need to make Wi-Fi free across all of our service and we are working towards that.”
So what is the hold up?
“One of the reasons why I say it’s ‘not a good reason’ why we charge for internet’ — you don’t pay for internet practically anywhere else — is that the planes do not have the technical capacity, and capability yet that if we made it free the system would crash. So, once it gets above about a 10% take-rate onboard performance starts to erode…if you turned it on free.”
That’s a fair statement…technological limitations force internet rationing and better that the internet works for some than for none. Bastian added that every time Delta tested free internet on a flight, it crashed.
— Bloomberg (@business) December 6, 2019
You can watch the full interview below:
It’s not a matter of if, but when. I applaud Delta for already offering superior internet onboard most of its flight and for continuing to express its policy goal of making it free for all. I look forward to thee day I can watch Man in the High Castle or The Crown streaming from my seat at 30,000 feet!