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Delta Launches Massive Revamp to In-Flight Entertainment with Free Wi-Fi

Delta Launches Massive Revamp to In-Flight Entertainment with Free Wi-Fi

The company’s partnered with Viasat to provide free Wi-Fi on flights through high-speed satellite internet, as well as adding screens.

The company’s partnered with Viasat to provide free Wi-Fi on flights through high-speed satellite internet, as well as adding screens.

Credit | Delta News Hub

Airlines have been in a world of pain for all of last year and this year, mostly due to the whole pandemic going on. That’s partially why Delta’s deciding to upgrading many of their planes to include better Wi-Fi and more screens, on the way to free Wi-Fi on the planes.

Whether you’re going on a plane or not this year, if you’ve been on one in the past, you know that you want the most coherent and seamless technology set-up when you’re flying. Flights can be incredibly uncomfortable, so airlines are trying to make it slightly easier on you.

Delta Air Lines announced last week that they were “accelerating the future of in-flight connectivity at Delta.”

At the heart of that report, was an incredibly useful bit of information that works well for literally any traveler on a flight: Delta partnered with satellite Wi-Fi provider Viasat, something that many airlines had done before.

Through Viasat’s ability to own the equipment and network that goes into their Wi-Fi planes, they have the ability to charge less for superior quality service. Delta’s Director of Inflight Entertainment and Wi-Fi, Glenn Latta said “Viasat’s high-speed satellite-powered technology changes the game for what we can offer.”

That’s hopefully a step in the direction for not terrible, overpriced internet onboard flights.

If you haven’t used Wi-Fi on a plane in a while, it usually goes you either use the terrible free Wi-Fi on competing lines, such as American, you use no internet, or you pay upwards of $40 to gain access to poor internet on Delta.

Delta’s sudden move to do this, pushes it closer to its competitors, such as America, JetBlue, and others, whom had used Viasat for quite some time. That’s not the only reason for this change however, as the company’s pushing for more accessories for this faster and cheaper internet.

Latta continued by saying that

“We now have the additional capability and next-gen technology to make sure you have a faster and more consistent connection to your favorite sites, including the ability to stream the entertainment of your choice on your flight. It also lays the groundwork for future enhancements and personalization with the seatback screen that customers will love.”

That’s really interesting, since it says that Delta’s planning on expanding seatback screens, compared to removing them. Seatback screens, the (usually) touchscreen screens on the back of seats with entertainment, news, and weather, have been a staple of the industry for ages.

Competitors such as American, have pushed hard to remove any and all seatback screens, definitely not expand them. That makes Delta’s decision even more confusing, as the screens use more electricity, have high(ish) maintenance, and require even more capital to install.

The past couple of years were used to phase out the screens, although not for Delta. This airline believes that the increased Wi-Fi speeds and decreased costs means that more screens can, and should, be used on the planes.

That’s contrary to American Airlines, who believes that people should and will bring their own wireless devices, choosing those for streaming entertainment compared to the seatbacks.

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While there’s a larger screen on seatbacks, it can be less convenient, especially when you have access to all of your apps and logins through your phone. That doesn’t take into account specific programming, and those that want to watch things in the background while on their own devices.

Alongside that unique announcement, Delta announced their intentions to eventually bring free Wi-Fi to the airline, a really big move. The company has said that the Viasat deal is a huge step in that direction, with free internet coming along pretty quickly.

If you have free, high-speed Wi-Fi on planes, providing seatback tablets as well, you can end up with some ridiculously satisfied and pleased customers aboard your planes. While Wi-Fi still does cost money on Delta flights, Delta had tested free Wi-Fi in 2019, concluding that it required too much bandwidth. Good thing that Viasat 3, the next-gen satellite internet, has over 8 times the bandwidth capacity.

There’s still many questions, but check back at for more information and news as it arrives.