Alaska Airlines Unveils New In-Flight Texting Service

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | January 6, 2017
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[Avionics Magazine 01-06-2017] Alaska Airlines is unveiling a new service allowing passengers on Gogo-equipped flights to use iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger free of charge. 

Alaska Airlines kicks off new year with new in-flight amenities, including Free Chat(TM) from any smartphone. Photo: Alaska Airlines.
Free Chat is the first of a variety of new in-flight products Alaska is rolling out in 2017. In addition to a brand-new Premium Class service launched this week, Alaska is introducing a number of enhancements guests can enjoy from any class of service. Though these products are currently limited to flights operated by Alaska Airlines, customer response and feedback will inform future cabin enhancements and offerings on Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air-operated flights.

“We’ve spent the past several years really investing in Alaska’s fleet and onboard product,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “By the end of this year, we’ll have outfitted nearly half of our 737s with new, larger overhead bins with room for 48 percent more bags; most of our mainline aircraft feature custom leather seats with 110-volt and USB power at every seat; and we have the youngest airplanes of the top five U.S. airlines. This week’s enhancements are just the beginning of the new features and promotions guests can expect to see us implement over the next year.” 

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