Big changes are coming to Delta’s passenger experience this year. First, free high-speed Wi-Fi will be available on most flights in the coming months. This will allow Delta to offer more in-flight entertainment options later this year.
Ranjan Goswami, senior vice president of customer experience design at Delta Air Lines, told USA TODAY: “Customers want to spend their time productively and discover new things.”
He said the upcoming upgrades will help make Delta flights more productive for customers, as well as provide more choice.
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It’s happening in three big phases, and here’s what airlines say travelers can expect:
Does Delta have free Wi-Fi?
Beginning in February, Delta’s long-planned free streaming-quality Wi-Fi will be available to all SkyMiles members on many flights.
If you’re not already a SkyMiles member, you can register for free at any time, even during your flight.
According to Goswami, 540 Delta aircraft will have access to the new Wi-Fi on Feb. 1, with approximately 700 aircraft available by the end of 2023, and 1,500 Delta aircraft by the end of 2024. all aircraft will be able to use the service.
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“Free Wi-Fi unlocks all of this,” says Goswami. With this rollout, Delta customers will have easier ways to stay connected on board and new options to keep them entertained through streaming on their own devices.
He added that high-bandwidth Wi-Fi will allow Delta to immediately improve the in-flight experience.
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What is Delta’s in-flight entertainment?
The next big step Delta plans to introduce this spring is a personalized landing page called the Delta Exclusive Hub. This will be accessible from a personal device logged into his Wi-Fi on the plane, allowing the traveler to stream content and play games.
Goswami said the hub will feature content from partners such as The New York Times Games, Paramount+ and Atlas Obscura.
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“Our customers bring two to three devices on board,” he says. “In all our tests, we saw people logging into his Wi-Fi and performing multiple tasks on multiple devices.”
Personalized experience with seatback screens
Later this year, Delta plans to roll out software upgrades to its seat back screens to allow customers to log into their seats and take advantage of the new features.
“These two ecosystems are very connected,” said Goswami, referring to personal devices and seatback in-flight entertainment. “Both are based on personalization, and both are based on logged-in memberships,” but they remain separate platforms, so the iPad and the seat back he can switch between watching movies on the screen. You can not. , at least for the foreseeable future.
Not only will customers be able to pick up where they left off on previous flights, but seat connectivity will also give travelers a more personalized experience on board, Goswami said. This includes the gate a connecting flight is scheduled to leave, the baggage claim belt that flight uses, and other notifications similar to what Delta currently pushes through its app.
In addition, Goswami said personalized messages could also be displayed, such as birthday greetings or notes when a passenger reaches a new level of SkyMiles status.
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The new system will allow passengers, first in first class and eventually throughout the entire aircraft, to order food and drink from their seat back screens instead of ringing the call bell to summon a flight attendant.
Goswami stressed that Delta has no plans to phase out seat back screens, even if streaming-quality Wi-Fi allows passengers to get more out of their devices on board.
“We think screens should be smart, they should be personalized,” he said. “The screen absolutely stays here.”