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Delta to Offer Free In-Flight Access to iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Delta this week announced plans to offer free access to mobile messaging services on its flights starting in October.

Delta will allow customers to use iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger to communicate with family and friends while in flight. Though Delta will let customers send text-based messages that include words and emoji, photo and video files are not supported.


Free messaging will be available on all Delta flights that feature Gogo Wi-Fi capabilities, which includes all aircraft with two or more cabins. Delta customers will be able to access the messaging services through the Delta Wi-Fi portal page.
"We know many of Delta's customers want or need to stay connected in the air and on the ground, which is why we're investing in an easy, free way to send and receive messages inflight through some of the most popular global platforms," said Tim Mapes, Delta's Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "Coupled with our investments in seat-back screens, free entertainment and High-Speed Wi-Fi, free messaging is one more way customers can choose how to make the most of their time on Delta flights."
Delta plans to start offering the free messaging services on Sunday, October 1.

Article Link: Delta to Offer Free In-Flight Access to iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger
 

calanman

macrumors newbie
Sep 27, 2017
1
2
I don't understand why Delta is getting so much attention for this today. Alaska has been offering this for almost a year, and since buying Virgin America, they've extended it to VX flights, too. As far as I've been able to find, neither of those developments earned a mention on MacRumors.
 
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tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,235
264
So, I've been getting this for several months now on UNITED.. not really sure why, but imessage is going in and out. Attachments don't work but messages do. comes to my watch as well, even though the phone is off. I wonder if they are going to roll that out as well officially.
 
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chadsteruw

macrumors member
Jul 14, 2007
85
10
Seattle, WA
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OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
Agreed. Alaska/Virgin America have been doing this for almost a year: https://www.alaskaair.com/content/t...ce/inflight-entertainment/text-messaging.aspx

Because Delta is the 2nd largest airline in the world, with more than 183.7 million passengers a year. Alaskan Group (who also own Virgin) aren't even in the top 10.

This is bigger news because it impacts far more people. It's like Fargo, ND announcing free access vs Los Angeles announcing it.
[doublepost=1506559371][/doublepost]
How do they control/limit images and attachments in the iMessage stream if it is encrypted?

Words and emojis only.

Sending photos, videos, and SMS messages is not supported.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/e...rd-services/delta-studio/in-flight-wi-fi.html
 
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BorgCube

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2012
6,405
7,974
the Delta Quadrant
I've been flying all over for work and GoGo inflight isn't too bad, you can pay something like $3.99 for Messages Only (no images) and it works fairly well, though there are a lot of times where you're just waiting for reception again. This is United and American Airlines.

It's amazing how many people do the free inflight wifi video streaming. That has to be some serious data transferring happening.

I'd love the ability to talk to family while flying - would definitely help pass the time. Too bad my work is AA/United only. :(
 
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zakarhino

Contributor
Sep 13, 2014
942
1,424
Berkeley
I don't understand why Delta is getting so much attention for this today. Alaska has been offering this for almost a year, and since buying Virgin America, they've extended it to VX flights, too. As far as I've been able to find, neither of those developments earned a mention on MacRumors.

Registered: Today

Found the Alaska/Virgin America employee! :p
 
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DominikHoffmann

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2007
182
93
Commonwealth of Virginia
How do they control/limit images and attachments in the iMessage stream if it is encrypted?
This deserves a little more attention than it has gotten. With the end-to-end encryption Apple touts iMessage offering, how do they do that? Can they decipher, when one message starts and when it ends and just throw everything over a certain size out? I think, you could have a pretty clear size-based discriminator between text iMessages and iMessages containing files, photos or video.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,852
19,027
How about just taking a break from your phone for the duration of the flight?

Based on this? What, you cannot control yourself for a few hours during a flight and put the phone down? Ugh.
[doublepost=1506565199][/doublepost]

Naive statement at best.
Should you go for a nice hike or randomly walk around and talk to strangers or perhaps work out or just take in and enjoy the beautiful nature all around you instead?
[doublepost=1506565946][/doublepost]
and they are gonna collect your data!
Through encrypted messaging, they sure will.
 
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dyt1983

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2014
1,359
152
USA USA USA
edit: to remove possibly personally identifying information no longer relevant to the thread.
 
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heov

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2002
266
665
How about just taking a break from your phone for the duration of the flight?
Because some of us have work to do? Some of us aren't flying for leisure?

Why don't you put your phone down when you're commuting on a train? Why don't you put your phone down from the hours 2p-5p? Oh wait you have a reason? Maybe now you'll understand why others don't want to put their phone down during a flight.

It's not like they're talking aloud. It shouldn't affect you. And if it does, buy a mask and ear muffs. Or charter a flight. Texting is not discourteous.
 
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bommai

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2003
625
257
Melbourne, FL
I wonder if an enterprising individual could stream news and other stuff through iMessage. Once you sign up for it.
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
but the question remains how would they know? It's all encrypted data (on iMessage, SMS obviously not).

They can block it. They currently do. The messages are encrypted but it's not like a VPN. They can still filter certain traffic types. They also know the size of the typical text message compared to a photo. Simply block transmissions more than a couple bytes at a time and you prevent those larger files from getting through.
 
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