So the news hit a few minutes ago that Delta Airlines will be adding WiFi to all of its domestic flights by mid-2009. Awesome, and the pricing isn’t bad, either. For flights that are 3hrs long or less, you pay $10 for unlimited access. Longer flights will be $12.99 for unlimited access. Potential bandwidth issues aside, I think this is really sweet, and something I’m looking forward to.
However, it also begs the question of power. The number of laptops that will last more than 3hrs on battery power is small. Even smaller when you start accessing WiFi, as well. So, Delta’s potential revenue for this service is rather limited by the usual lack of power outlets located on airplanes, at least in coach. The ones that are available require a special adapter, as well, making it rather inconvenient, really.
Another aspect I hope is being considered is mobile devices. Many times, commercial WiFi portals start with a landing page, through which you click to sign in, and these pages are not often mobile friendly. I’d like to see Delta also creating a mobile-friendly portal, so I can get my email on my mobile device, if not my laptop.
All in all, I’m very excited to see U.S. airlines looking to additional revenue sources like this. I’d easily pay such a small fee for good solid access, even if it’s not super fast. Anything to make that flight go just a little bit quicker. What do you think?