SWISS has become the latest carrier to introduce free inflight messaging via services including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

From tomorrow (Wednesday 2 August) all passengers on long-haul flights will be able to send and receive free text and picture messages via their personal devices, regardless of the class of travel.

The move follows the similar introduction of free inflight messaging on Air Canada, Etihad and Turkish Airlines flights in recent months.

Air Canada to introduce free inflight messaging

Meanwhile SWISS has also revamped its paid-for inflight internet access, with two new packages.

For CHF 25 (£22) passengers can purchase a four-hour wifi package, and a CHF 35 (£31) “Wi-Fi Premium” package is also available for the duration of the flight. First class customers and HON Circle Members benefit from free unlimited internet access.

SWISS notes that all of the new services – including the free chat option – offer unlimited data volumes, although “video streaming services will be deactivated, to ensure that adequate bandwidth is simultaneously available for as many passengers as possible”.

Videos on social media platforms will however be playable, and passengers will be able to access audio streaming, cloud and VPN services.

Commenting on the news SWISS’ chief commercial officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour, said:

“In offering these new wifi options we’re taking a big step forward. With our new unlimited free chat facility in all our travel classes, our guests can keep in contact with their families, friends and business partners throughout their flight.

“Our attractive new packages for surfing, email and social media also offer unlimited data volumes. So our customers now have even more choice in how they wish to stay in unbounded touch with the world while they are aboard our long-haul flights.”

More and more carriers are moving towards free inflight internet access – Emirates recently announced that Skywards members in all classes will going forward get some form of free connectivity, while in January Delta confirmed plans to rollout free inflight wifi to all passengers by the end of 2024.

Delta to introduce free inflight wifi for all customers