Starting this weekend, passengers on Delta flights will be able to text while in the air, according to CEO Ed Bastian. Using the in-flight WiFi, people will be free to send messages through iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger without paying the internet fee. He told CBS This Morning, "We want our customers while they're flying to stay connected to their homes, to their friends." He also clarified, though, that using your phone otherwise while in flight — like to make a call — will never in his lifetime be something that is allowed.
The push to allow texting on planes appears to be an effort to make flying more appealing for travelers, though Bastian said an ongoing problem related to that remains the quality of the WiFi available. "The problem we have is the bandwidth still isn't strong enough — the satellite bandwidth," he said. "Today, we still have to charge too much because the quality is not there yet. But we'll eventually get to a point where there's free service in the air and you'll have ubiquitous service and capacity in the cabin." Nevertheless, free messaging while in the air is a huge plus for travelers, and it seems like a strong possibility that other airlines may soon follow suit.