Delta Air Lines has partnered with Amazon to allow passengers to shop on Amazon.com using their laptops, smartphones, and tablets while in the air. Passengers on Delta and Delta Connection will now have free access to Amazon.com and Amazonwireless.com through the Delta Connect Wi-Fi portal, which otherwise charges them for in-flight use. Terms of the deal were not announced, but more than 160 million people fly on Delta each year, offering Amazon a huge potential audience with little else to do.
Delta is by no means the first major airline to add tech features to flights. Alaska Airlines has a FlyingSocial app that lets users look at a map populated with photos of their Facebook friends in cities served by the air carrier. Many other airline companies — from United Continental and Southwest to US Airways and AMR Corp. — have been adding tech features that ease the travel experience, including apps that let travelers use mobile boarding passes, check in, view or change seat assignments, and track luggage.
Delta already provides free access to real-time travel information through its on-board wireless provider Gogo, as well as news content from The Wall Street Journal and People Magazine and exclusive shopping deals and entertainment options, bit passengers must pay to use the Wi-Fi service. Gogo is on its fleet of 550 domestic aircraft, as well as most Delta Connection two-class regional jets.
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