Bad News for Delta Customers as Airline Ups Bag Fees, Delays Free Wi-Fi


Staying in touch with the world on the ground is sometimes critical for people when they’re 30,000 feet in the air. In 2013, JetBlue became the first (and so far only) U.S. airline to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers. Delta Air Lines has been working toward implementing free Wi-Fi across its entire global fleet, but flyers might have to wait a little longer to take advantage of it, and that’s not the only bad news for frequent passengers.

Delta first began offering free Wi-Fi on some of its planes at the beginning of last year with the goal of installing it in all their planes by the end of 2024. But in a new statement to The Points Guy, an airline spokesperson confirmed a slight delay in that timeline.

“Delta expects the vast majority of our customers to have access to fast, free Wi-Fi by the end of 2024 and expects select remaining regional and international routes will come online into 2025,” the airline said. “Our teams are hard at work ensuring we have the best technology onboard to deliver the experience customers expect at scale and reliably across our network.”

So far, Delta has more than 650 planes capable of offering free Wi-Fi. Wide bodies that fly passengers on domestic and long-haul international flights will receive the upgrade by the end of this year. 

It doesn’t just come down to technology available, however; Delta is starting out by enabling the free Wi-Fi option on a route-by-route basis to test its effectiveness on ever possible flight. With some flights going over the Arctic, satellite connectivity on these long-haul journeys might become an issue. 

The Wi-Fi delay should be the least of Delta passengers’ immediate problems, though. The airline also announced in a statement that it’s also raising its baggage fees by $5 for both the first and second checked bag for most domestic and short-haul international routes. The first checked bag will now cost $35 while the second will be $45. 

It’s Delta’s first price hike for luggage since 2018 and follows similar recent announcements by American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, and Alaska Airlines. If you have Delta perks or are flying first class, you’re in luck, the airline reassured customers that those current complimentary bag policies will remain in place. 

For now, stick to downloading your movies on Netflix before takeoff and packing everything in a carry-on. 

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