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Delta announces free in-flight texting, makes changes to rewards program

POSTED: October 2, 2017 9:10 a.m.
Herb Scribner/

Delta just made two major decisions that will have frequent flyers cheering and jeering all at once.

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Delta Air Lines just made two major decisions that will have frequent flyers both cheering and jeering.

In-flight texting: Delta announced Wednesday that travelers will soon have the opportunity to text for free on flights, according to CNN Money.

Travelers can take advantage of the benefit by downloading the Gogo App.

"We want our customers when they're flying to stay connected," Delta CEO Ed Bastian told CNN.

The app will connect flyers' phones to free texting through the plane’s Wi-Fi. Only 130 of Delta's 1,300 planes have in-flight Wi-Fi.

Users can specifically use iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for texts.

Bastian said in-flight calls would not happen “in my lifetime,” CNN reported.

Change to rewards: Delta decided to significantly raise the price to be a Diamond Medallion frequent flyer.

According to Business Insider, Delta flyers must now spend $250,000 a year on their Delta American Express cards to qualify for benefits of being a top-tier customer. The previous limit was a more modest $25,000 a year. No other benefits or qualifying standards have changed.

Flyers who want extra perks have to qualify for the company's "medallions." The Diamond Medallion allows users to move ahead of the check-in and boarding lines, among many other benefits.

Based on reactions on Twitter, those who hold the card weren't happy about the change.

Delta offered a statement to Business Insider, saying that the change will benefit those who fly most with Delta.

"The goal is to enable those who fly and spend most with Delta to better enjoy their Diamond Status benefits including Complimentary Upgrades and the Delta Sky Club experience," Delta said in its statement.

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