Delta Air Lines is launching three 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 Boeing 757-300s; and a more user-friendly design for Airbus A330 in-flight entertainment systems, which includes more content choices.
“Customer demand is evolving every day and Delta is ahead of the game, delivering on customer preferences as it relates to technology and innovation,” says Bob Kupbens, Delta Air Lines’ 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 will offer an expanded range of free content for Delta customers, including more choices for entertainment and shopping, as well as flight and destination information.
Shopping and service-booking partners in Delta Connect 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. This feature appears to be very similar to the Gogo-powered, streaming-video, ‘Entertainment on Demand’ (EOD) service already being offered by American Airlines on its fleet of 15 Boeing 767-200s, which primarily operate U.S. transcontinental services. American has already announced it will make its EOD service available on more than 400 domestic-service aircraft in the months to come.
From October 5, entertainment on demand is available on all 16 of Delta’s Boeing 757-300s. Choices will include an introductory price for television programming starting at $0.99 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 streaming-video service. Entertainment on demand will be available for laptops and expanded to tablet and mobile devices by early 2012 on 757-300s.
Meanwhile, by the end of 2011, customers flying on Delta’s fleet of 32 Airbus A330s will experience a redesigned in-flight entertainment experience, which offers more entertainment choices than are available today on Delta’s aircraft. 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 per cent more movies and more television, music and games offerings. A new feature includes a Delta Sky Kids section which offers family-friendly content designed with young travelers in mind.
Delta began installing Wi-Fi on domestic mainline aircraft in 2008, becoming the first U.S. airline to announce plans for in-flight Internet service on all domestic aircraft. (Alaska Airlines was probably the first large U.S. carrier actually to offer in-flight Internet service across its entire mainline fleet.)
Including its mainline aircraft and the recent addition of its own and partners’ regional jets to the Wi-Fi program, more than 80 per cent 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.