Delta adds free in-flight entertainment

In the in-flight entertainment arms race, Delta Air Lines says it will soon begin offering free movies on seat-back screens in coach class, as well as free TV shows and movies streamed to passengers’ own devices.

With that change effective Aug. 1, Delta says it will offer free entertainment on more than 1,000 of its planes, with more free movies, TV shows, music and video games than any other carrier. That includes entertainment on seat-back screens or streamed onto passengers’ own laptops, tablets or other mobile devices via in-flight WiFi.

The only Delta aircraft without entertainment will be 50-seat regional jets, which are typically flown on shorter flights — those lasting an hour and a half or less.

Delta two years ago introduced streaming movies and TV shows to passengers’ devices for a fee ranging from 99 cents to $3.99. But starting next month, it will offer streaming movies and TV for free.

In coach class, some premium entertainment will still cost extra, like newer movies and HBO.

Delta senior vice president of marketing Tim Mapes said travelers today want in-flight entertainment to be a “personalized experience” with the ability to choose what they watch and to stop and start the programming as needed. The company aims to increase the likelihood that travelers will choose Delta over competing carriers.

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