It’s news when airlines raise fees, and news when they drop them. Delta is making news for eliminating charges for in-flight entertainment. Starting today, August 1, 2014, passengers can watch movies and TV shows, listen to music and play video games for FREE.
Unlike other airlines, Delta has been charging for anything except its own piped-in music channels. I’ve often wondered why United gives me movies for free, but not Delta. And JetBlue has dozens of free live TV channels, but not Delta.
Maybe competition is a good thing. Delta has been charging 99 cents per television show and $3.99 per movie.
Maybe Delta realizes it’s charging us enough already for checked baggage, priority boarding, seats with extra legroom, and ticket changes, as do other airlines.
Profitable airline fees
According to CNN, the airline industry made $31.5 billion from fees last year, up from $2.8 billion in 2007. Don’t we all wish our income would increase tenfold in six years!
The free in-flight entertainment will be on all domestic flights that are 90 minutes or more. That means I can watch a free movie on my upcoming Delta flight to Detroit to test drive the new 2015 Acura TLX sport sedan.
Delta says passengers can access the free entertainment through the screens on seatbacks, or on their own mobile devices or laptops. Newer airplanes equipped with Wi-Fi will allow passengers to stream movies and television to mobile devices with the Gogo app, also free.
We probably should start getting used to watching on-board entertainment on our own devices. One airline analyst says some new airplanes are being ordered with no screens anywhere. Remember to bring your own earphones, so you don’t have to buy one from a cabin attendant.