How to Send and Receive Text Messages on a Flight?

When traveling by air mode of transportation, you voluntarily stop connecting with the real world. There are no ways through which you can contact anyone or receive messages. However, to prevent this feeling of disassociation, airlines have launched Wi-Fi services. Many airlines provide that to ensure that passengers can easily connect to other people in case of emergency or anything. 

The airlines which provide services like sending and receiving text messages on a flight include Jet Blue, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Alaska airlines. This page will give you all the necessary information on sending and receiving text messages when you are on the plane.   

How does the messaging system work? 

If you are wondering how you will be able to send text messages on a flight, this section solves that query. You see that if you need to send a message through your phone, you would need the standard SMS system, which works on the cellular connection, but now that you are traveling in the air, you wouldn't be able to send or receive a text. 

But, if you have any messaging application on your phone like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or anything of the same league that works on the internet connection or Wi-Fi connection, you can easily connect with the world as the airlines provide you with the Wi-Fi connection. So, you can quickly run these applications to receive text messages on a flight.  

Now, some airlines have enabled texting but only through certain apps. Make sure that you have those applications downloaded to your phones. 

Airlines with free texting and free Wi-Fi services. 

Some airlines have free texting and free Wi-Fi services for their passengers. Refer to the information below to learn about those significant airlines. 

  • Nok Airlines - Nok airlines does provide free Wi-Fi on their Nok air's Boeing 737s. However, you will not get Wi-Fi services on Nok air's Q400 Net gen aircraft. Nok airlines are low-cost airline operating in Thailand to destinations throughout Asia, including Southeast Asia, China, and Japan.
  • Jet Blue - Jet Blue is customer-friendly when it comes to its services. They have all the benefits for their passengers, including free, high-speed Wi-Fi on every plane seat. You can also download "Fly-Fi" to access their messaging apps. 
  • Norwegian Air - The airlines provide free Wi-Fi to browse the web, send an email, and send text messages on a flight through messaging apps if you are willing to purchase more Wi-Fi to browse faster and stream shows and other Wi-Fi services.
  • Qantas Air - Qantas Air is an Australian- based airline that offers free Wi-Fi on domestic flights, networking, and free streaming. To connect with the Wi-Fi services, you must select "Qantas free Inflight Wi-Fi" and enter in your web browser. You will be asked to provide details before accessing the Qantas Air free Wi-Fi services. 

Major airlines that provide free texting but not the Wi-Fi services

Some airlines don't provide you with Wi-Fi services but do provide free messaging services. You can refer to the below information to learn more about those airlines.

  • South West Airlines - Southwest Airlines has offered in-flight text messaging services since the year 2018, and it allows passengers to use messaging apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger for free. And, if you wish to send messages through the other messaging apps, you can purchase the Wi-Fi services at $ 8. Select "Southwest Wi-Fi" from your Wi-Fi network to connect to Southwest internet. From here, you will be redirected to the free messaging services of Southwest Airlines. 
  • Alaska Airlines - The airlines offer free messaging services for the apps like iMessage, Messenger, Whatsapp, or Facebook. You can send text messages. All you have to do is to connect to either the "gogo inflight" or "Alaska_WiFi" network. You can access the Wi-Fi through this service at the minimal cost of $8. 
  • Delta Airlines  -The Wi-Fi services of Delta Airlines can be accessed by connecting to Delta Wi-Fi, then you will be directed to the Wi-Fi portal, where you can choose the "Free messaging" option to access the free messaging services from Delta Airlines. If you need it, you can purchase Wi-Fi from Delta Airlines. The cost of acquiring Wi-Fi is dependent on the type of flight you have booked. 

Airlines where messaging services cost you money.

Now, some airlines charge to send text messages on a flight. Continue reading further about the airlines that charge their passengers to pay for text messaging services. 

  • American Airlines - The free texting services are not provided by American Airlines. You can still send and receive text messages on a flight through Wi-Fi based texting app if you purchase in-flight internet. Free text messaging services are available and start from USD 10, depending on your flight. And, if you are a frequent flyer of American Airlines, then you can buy their Wi-Fi subscription plan. 
  • United Airlines - United Airlines does not provide free messaging services. But, you can send a text through Wi-Fi-based texting apps, and if you purchase in-flight internet, the aircraft costs vary. If you are a frequent flyer, then you can opt to buy a Wi-Fi subscription. 

Major airlines provide neither Wi-Fi services nor free messaging services. 

Airlines do not provide Wi-Fi or free messaging services as these services are not an inbound part of the various services they provide to their passengers. Those airlines are mentioned below; 

  • Frontier Airlines - Frontier Airlines doesn't provide any entertainment or Wi-Fi services when you board the plane, as it is a budgeted airline. It is often advised to carry your books or something to entertain you on the ride as it can get pretty dull with no source to entertain yourself.  
  • Hawaiian Airlines - Hawaiian Airlines also do not provide any source of entertainment on the flight, and there are no in-flight services. Hawaiian Airlines is almost the same as Frontier airlines when one talks about the benefits. So, you should bring your source of entertainment on the flight during your travel. 


The services to send and receive text messages on a flight vary from flight to flight. It depends on the type of airline you are booking your flight with. Suppose an app needs to be downloaded to access the free messaging services. Then, make sure that you have that app installed on your handset.

However, if you have any issues with the messaging services or anything else, you can consult the same with the airlines you have booked your flight with. As each airline has a customer help desk that operates 24 hours and seven days a, you can easily reach out to the assistant on the desk. 

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