Delta Air Lines has launched “Expanded In-Flight Wi-Fi, Entertainment on Demand Options”, called Delta Connect which offers free entertainment, shopping options and travel information. Delta Air Lines announced these new in-flight entertainment options for customers as part of its $2 billion investment in the flying experience.
The additions include Delta Connect, a new in-flight portal that will be available exclusively to all customers using Wi-Fi on Delta aircraft; wireless movies and television on demand on its 16 Boeing 757-300 aircraft; and a more user-friendly design for 32 Airbus A330 in-flight entertainment systems that include more content choices. Aircraft were chosen based on those with least selection in entertainment.
“Customer demand is evolving every day and Delta is ahead of the game, delivering on customer preferences as it relates to technology and innovation,” said Bob Kupbens, Delta’s vice president – eCommerce. “Whether through our mobile apps, Wi-Fi on soon to be more than 800 aircraft or a more comprehensive and customer-friendly delta.com experience, Delta is delivering.”
Delta Connect is a new in-flight Wi-Fi portal developed jointly by Delta and its on-board wireless provider Gogo. It offers an expanded range of free content for Delta customers such as more choices for entertainment and shopping as well as flight and destination information.
Delta Connect partners include Gilt.com and OpenTable.com. Customers will also have free access to partners that provide information on destination oriented concerts, festivals and events as well as news and entertainment.
At the same time Delta is launching a new feature through on-board Wi-Fi: entertainment on demand. Beginning today, entertainment on demand will be available on all 16 of Delta’s Boeing 757-300 aircraft. Choices include an introductory price for television programming starting at $.99 and movies available for $3.99 from major Hollywood studios. Customers can sort titles by genre, length of feature, movie or show and other categories. Trailers are available for complimentary viewing prior to rental.
The programming also offers an added benefit. Rentals will remain accessible on the customer’s personal device for viewing after landing for at least 24 hours after their flight. Unexpired content will be available for playback on the ground by using the same device and browser used onboard.
A Gogo Wi-Fi purchase is not required to access Delta Connect content or the video service. Entertainment on demand will be available for laptops and expanded to tablet and mobile devices by early 2012 on 757-300s. Customers flying on Delta’s fleet of 32 Airbus A330 aircraft will experience a redesigned in-flight entertainment experience with more entertainment choices by the end of 2011. The improved in-flight entertainment system will expand to the rest of Delta’s fleet of nearly 300 aircraft equipped with personal in-flight entertainment by mid-2012.
The new system includes offers easier navigation, 150 percent more movies and more television, music and games offerings. A new feature includes a Delta Sky Kids section that offers family-friendly content designed with young travelers in mind.
Delta began installing Wi-Fi on domestic mainline aircraft in 2008, becoming the first airline to announce plans for in-flight Internet service on all domestic aircraft. With its mainline aircraft and the recent addition of regional jets to the Wi-Fi program, more than 80 percent of Delta’s entire domestic fleet will feature Gogo in-flight Internet access by early 2012. Customers can stay connected using Gogo In-flight Internet with free access to delta.com or Delta’s mobile applications.
While this is good news for Delta passengers the yawning gap remains connectivity on international flights leaving North America. Improved IFE on the A330s is great – but as the news for the 757 fleet implies, connectivity is where the market is going – allowing customers to consume content they choose. Kudos to Delta for investing in this arena though.