Delta Air Lines will offer free streaming movies, television programming, music and video games on all U.S. flights of 90 minutes or more, starting Friday, August 1, 2014. Dubbed “Delta Studio”, entertainment will be offered through seat-back systems and streaming on wi-fi equipped flights to laptop computers, smart phones, and tablets.
Importantly, there seems to be no catch here and Delta is touting the news as such–
“Through the introduction of Delta Studio our customers have yet another reason to choose Delta and a different travel experience,” said Tim Mapes, senior vice president – Marketing. “Delta continues to be driven by customer feedback which has consistently placed the desire to be entertained at the top of the list of ways to improve our customers’ time in the air.”
The only “asterisk” is that on international flights only BusinessElite, First Class and Economy Comfort will have free, unrestricted access to in-flight entertainment. Economy passengers will have access to a more-limited library of free content.
Same story on domestic flights, though economy passengers will have access to satellite TV, music, video games, and certain movies (Delta mentions The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as an example). Paid content will include–
Additional premium content will be available for purchase in economy including the latest movie titles such as ‘Need for Speed’ or ‘Rio 2,’ HBO and SHOWTIME programming as well as on-demand TV shows like ‘About a Boy’ or ‘The Middle.’ Delta’s full entertainment line-up for the month of August is available in Sky magazine.
As United rips out overhead IFE from its Airbus narrowbody fleet and American merges with IFE-free US Airways, Delta is going in an opposite direction: already there are 140 domestic aircraft configured with seat-back entertainment systems and similar entertainment is being added to the former Northwest fleet and Delta aircraft that do not yet have individual entertainment. In addition to more than 100 Airbus and Boeing aircraft that will be delivered with seat-back IFE through 2018, 56 Boeing 757-200, 43 Boeing 737-800s and 57 Airbus A319 aircraft will be re-tooled to include personal IFE.
Let’s also not forget that Delta has over 900 wi-fi enabled aircraft as well and that list is growing. Delta also has re-introduced complimentary meals in economy class on some domestic transcon routes, free alcohol in economy, and even amenity kits and bottled water.
With healthy profits, Delta can afford to spruce up its inflight product–even behind the curtain. Despite its travesty of a loyalty program (on the redemption and earnings side), leisure and business flyers not concerned about collecting points will find Delta a much better experience internationally and now domestically with a plethora of new complimentary media options.
Will this news make you more likely to fly Delta?