Complimentary In-Flight Entertainment for All Passengers on Most Flights Operated by Delta Air Lines

D elta Air Lines will be the only airline based in the United States which will offer all of its in-flight entertainment options free of charge to all passengers effective as of Friday, July 1, 2016 aboard 90 percent of its entire fleet of airplanes which are equipped with two classes of service on domestic and international flights — meaning that passengers aboard an airplane which only offers a single class of service are apparently the exception to having complimentary access to in-flight entertainment.

Complimentary In-Flight Entertainment for All Passengers on Most Flights Operated by Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines — which is already the only airline based in the United States to offer personal on-demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights — will offer to all passengers on most flights the ability to view hundreds of movies and television shows, thousands of songs, dozens of games, and 18 channels of satellite television through its Delta Studio product, which can be viewed either through more traditional entertainment equipment built into the backs of seats; or via streaming content to portable electronic devices, according to this article written by Liz Savadelis for Delta News Hub.

“Correct, the content is streamed directly from a server on the aircraft and does not use the aircraft to ground station link (the primary bottleneck) used for Internet access”, FlyerTalk member LBJ posted in response to concerns by fellow FlyerTalk members as to whether there will be enough bandwidth aboard airplanes for passengers to enjoy complimentary in-flight entertainment. “And I believe most planes have multiple wifi radios on-board. It’d likely take quite a few people watching content before it would start bogging down the on-board wifi network.”

FlyerTalk member airb330 opined that “Well this one-ups AA at least, but slightly devalues whatever value C+ had at the same time.”

That concern was attempted to be allayed by FlyerTalk member jdrtravel, who responded that “If there is any real value in C+ I think it is in the extra leg room, early boarding and front of cabin seating. The drinks and snacks are nice, but I don’t think it is what drives sales, though it may help people feel better about their purchase and helps Delta sell the illusion that they have created a different class of service.”

Entertainment options will vary by aircraft type and route.

Summary

“This definitely diminishes any C+ angst I was feeling”, posted FlyerTalk member mpheels. “I don’t drink much, and rarely/never on airplanes. I can easily bring my own snack if I want. I’m relatively short, and don’t need much leg room. Free entertainment on long flights was the greatest C+ perk for me. Now I will definitely stick with my guaranteed window or aisle preferred seat, rather than roll the dice on a C+ upgrade.”

Although I do not drink alcoholic beverages at all, I generally agree with mpheels; and I will even argue that when adding perks and benefits — such as offering in-flight entertainment free of charge — to passengers seated in the economy class cabin, fewer people will find the need to upgrade.

That is how I felt when Delta Air Lines used to offer passengers seated in the economy class cabin who had earned Medallion elite level status a Have One On Us certificate which was good towards a free snack. In fact — before those certificates were even offered — I had lunch with a couple of employees of Delta Air Lines years ago where I mentioned to them that I would have no need to upgrade to the premium class cabin as a passenger aboard an airplane if certain amenities were offered. That is when they told me about the new Have One On Us certificate — an idea which had not yet been implemented yet. As I do not need a wide seat or alcoholic beverages, a snack and entertainment included in the price of airfare would be enough for me to forego an upgrade to a seat in the premium class cabin with no regrets.

Come to think of it — as much as I would like to sit in a seat in the premium class cabin of an airplane on a transoceanic flight — being fed and entertained enough is probably why I usually do not mind being seated in the economy class cabin. There are exceptions to that, of course.

Regardless, this news is good overall for passengers of Delta Air Lines who are seated in the economy class cabin and want access to plenty of options to entertain them during flights and is a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Complimentary In-Flight Entertainment for All Passengers on Most Flights Operated by Delta Air Lines”

  1. Samuel Norton says:

    In 1966, Andy Dufresne escaped from a Delta Airlines Boeing 767. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty. Oh, Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes really, pressure, and time. That, and a big goddamn poster. Like I said, in a Boeing a man will do most anything to keep his mind occupied. Turns out Andy’s favorite hobby was totin’ his wall out into cargo hold, a handful at a Samuel Nortontime. I guess after Tommy was killed, Andy decided he’d been here just about long enough. Andy did like he was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The pilots simply didn’t notice. Neither did I… I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes? Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to. Five hundred yards… that’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

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