Essential tech for your next Delta flight

Flying can be tedious, and if the onboard entertainment is mediocre, it can make a flight even more grueling. However, if you’re traveling within the U.S. on a Delta flight, you’ll have access to free Wi-Fi as of Feb. 1.

You’ll be able to connect electronics to the internet, which opens up communications and broadens the kind of entertainment you can enjoy during your flight. It’ll make the few hours you spend on a plane more bearable, and before you know it, you’ll be landing at your destination.

Everything you need to know about Delta’s new free Wi-Fi

How it works

Since airplanes can’t use cable broadband providers, they rely on satellite services. Some other airlines, such as American and United, offer Wi-Fi on some of their flights, but it’s not free like Delta’s will be. To use Delta’s free Wi-Fi, you’ll have to be a member of Delta’s SkyMiles frequent-flyer program, but it’s free to join.

Customers will have to use Delta Sync, a free downloadable app. It’s a new platform that will serve as a hub where customers can sign in to their SkyMiles account and get information about their flights and explore entertainment options.

International and connecting flights

As of Feb. 1, more than 700 airplanes will be equipped with free, high-speed Wi-Fi from T-Mobile. However, if you’re traveling outside the U.S., you’ll have to wait until Delta expands its service to international and connecting flights, which is projected to happen by the end of 2024.

Wi-Fi-enabled devices

Once the airplane takes off, you can use virtually any device with Wi-Fi capabilities, which includes cellphones, tablets, e-readers, laptops and portable gaming consoles. Delta has no limits on download date or how many devices you can connect to its onboard Wi-Fi. For example, you can have your phone and tablet connected simultaneously.

Internet connection and speeds

You can use your devices the same way you would with any wireless network, but it’s important to note that satellite-based internet isn’t as reliable as cable or DSL internet. Connections should be stable for the most part, but don’t be alarmed if you experience slow speeds from time to time.

Tech items to pack for your next Delta flight

Best Anker Portable Charger

Anker Portable Charger

With this 40,000-milliamp-hour power bank, you won’t have to worry about your devices dying mid-flight. For a frame of reference of how long it lasts, you can charge an iPhone 13 8.8 times, a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 6.8 times and a MacBook Air 2020 2.3 times.

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Best Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

You should download your favorite books before your flight, but you can connect your Kindle to the onboard Wi-Fi to browse through titles and read something you don’t have saved. This e-waterproof reader has 8 gigabytes of storage, a flush-front design and a glare-free display.

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Best Nintendo Switch OLED

Nintendo Switch OLED

The Nintendo Switch is a revolutionary gaming console that lets you play at home on a standard TV or on the go as a handheld. This updated Switch console has a stunning 7-inch OLED screen, improved battery life and 64GB of internal storage space.

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Best Beats Studio³ Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Beats Studio³ Wireless Noise-canceling Headphones

Listen to your favorite tunes and audiobooks, and watch movies without being disturbed by ambient noise with these high-quality noise-canceling headphones. The battery lasts up to 22 hours, and iPhone users can activate Siri with multifunction on-ear controls.

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Best Apple iPad 10.2-Inch

Apple iPad 10.2-inch

With a stunning 10.2-inch retina display and a 10-hour battery life, this iPad is a no-brainer for getting through dreary flights. It has an 8-megapixel camera and Touch ID, and it’s an excellent tablet for streaming movies, surfing the web, playing games, reading e-books and more.

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Best Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet

Wi-Fi can be a lifesaver if you’re traveling with children, making this tablet a must if you want to keep them entertained throughout your flight. It’s suitable for children ages 3-7 and comes with a kid-proof case and a two-year worry-free guarantee.

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Best Sony WF-1000XM4 True Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Earbuds + Charger Bundle

Sony WF-1000XM4 True Wireless Bluetooth Noise Canceling Earbuds and Charger Bundle

If you’re not a fan of traditional over-ear headphones and want something more compact that’s easier to travel with, you’ll love these true noise-canceling earbuds. The sound quality is excellent, and this bundle includes a wireless Qi charging pad.

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Best Minlu Multi Charging Cable

Minlu Multi Charging Cable

Whether you have an Android smartphone or an iPhone, this charging cable has got you covered should your phone die during your flight. It has USB-C, Lightning and micro-USB connectors, and you’ll be able to charge up to three devices simultaneously.

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Best Skull & Co. GripCase Lite Bundle

Skull & Co. GripCase Lite Bundle

Playing Nintendo Switch is a great way to pass the time during a flight, but your hands and fingers might hurt after a while. However, you can reduce fatigue with this bundle, which includes a hard shell carrying case and three interchangeable grips.

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Best Lenovo Flex 3 2-in-1 Chromebook 2022

Lenovo Flex 3 2-in-1 Chromebook 2022

Standard laptops are great, but this Lenovo Flex Chromebook is much more practical for staying on top of your work while traveling. It has a crisp 11.6-inch HD touch screen, 160GB of local storage space and a flip design that allows it to double as a tablet.

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Best Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

This tablet has a slim metal design, a lightweight build and a crystal-clear 10.4-inch display. The included S Pen is great for editing photos, taking notes and gaming, and the battery lasts up to 13 hours on a full charge.

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Best Livho 2 Pack Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Livho 2 Pack Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Spending several hours in front of a screen can strain your eyes, so it’s a good idea to pack blue light-blocking glasses. These glasses have a sturdy but flexible frame and are excellent for reducing eye fatigue. 

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