Delta's free in-flight texting service launches this weekend

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Bastian noted during the interview on CBS This Morning that part of the difficulties with offering perks such as free text messaging is finding bandwidth for Wi-Fi.

The airline will become the first US global carrier to offer free mobile messaging, providing more customers access to free messaging than any other carrier starting on October 1.

Among its major legacy competitors United and American, Atlanta-based Delta said it is the first to offer free mobile messaging and will have the most aircraft with free messaging of any carrier.

"We know that staying in touch while on the go is essential to our guests, many of whom don't need full Internet access", Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines' chief commercial officer, said when announcing the chat option then. The move makes Delta the biggest USA airline to offer the option at no charge. In order to text using the specified apps, passengers can go to use the same WiFi portal at airborne.gogoinflight.com.

Delta said the new, complimentary capability will allow customers to stay fully connected with those still on the ground and exchange real time messages in flight with friends, family members, colleagues and clients via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Customers on JetBlue, for example, already had access to free in-flight Wi-Fi, which would allow numerous same capabilities. Free mobile messaging will only support text, not photos or videos. The service will be available on more aircraft than any other carrier.

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