Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Delta Ups Its Game on Inflight WiFi Entertainment
Delta Air Lines launched a new multimedia in-flight entertainment system today, as it becomes absolutely obvious that the future of in-flight WiFi is built around mobile devices.
The services include Delta Connect, a branded in-flight portal that includes restaurant-booking and other shopping and concierge-type services; movies and television on demand on Boeing 757-300 aircraft; and an improved design for Airbus A330 in-flight entertainment systems that includes more content choices.
Bob Kupbens, Delta's vice president for e-commerce, said the system is designed "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 Connect is a new WiFi portal developed jointly by Delta and its inflight provider Gogo, the system currently used by most domestic airlines with WiFi service. It will offer an expanded range of free content for Delta customers such as more choices for entertainment and shopping as well as flight and destination information. Obviously, for Delta, it will also provide marketing and revenue opportunities.
Delta Connect partners include Gilt.com and OpenTable.com. Customers will also have 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 eature 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 will include an introductory price for television programming starting at 99 cents and movies available for $3.99 from major 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.
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.
Delta said its fleet of 32 Airbus A330 aircraft will have redesigned in-flight entertainment with more entertainment choices by the end of 2011. The 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, more movies and more television, music and games.
Delta began installing WiFi on domestic mainline aircraft in 2008. With its mainline aircraft and the recent addition of regional jets to the WiFi program, more than 80 percent of Delta's domestic fleet will feature Gogo in-flight Internet by early 2012.