Delta hooks up regional jets as in-flight WiFi booms

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The Independent Travel

Delta is to roll out WiFi to all of its regional jets, significantly upping the in-flight connectivity available across its fleet.

The decision, announced September 7, allows Delta to claim the title of first airline to equip regional jets with WiFi, following the rollout of internet connectivity on many long-haul services.

The first WiFi-equipped flight was a Bombardier CRJ200 between Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and White Plains, NY this week, the carrier said in a statement.

It will be rolled out across other Delta Connection jets by early next year, including Delta shuttles between New York-LaGuardia and Boston, Chicago-O'Hare and Washington, DC.

Although Delta already boasts some 550 mainline aircraft hooked up to WiFi, the decision to equip its fleet of two-class regional jets underscores the rapidly-growing popularity of the technology.

Although easy connectivity has pushed US carriers such as Delta, Virgin America, American Airlines and United Airlines to invest heavily in equipping their planes with WiFi, it's also a trend that's rapidly catching on elsewhere.

Virgin Australia is also seeking to roll out WiFi across its fleet, according to reports which surfaced this week, bringing it on par with Qantas, which already offers the service on some domestic routes.

With all that connectivity, you might think that flights would be a haven for those that want to get some work done - although that's not the case, according to in-flight WiFi provider Gogo.

Only 6 percent of users use WiFi on flights just for work, it said last week, compared to 27 percent who used it for play and 67 percent who dabbled in a bit of both.