Delta Adds Seat Back Entertainment to 700 Aircraft, Launching Hulu Original Content Onboard

Last August Delta announced they had seat back video installed in 600 aircraft. That’s significant because American has been looking to ultimately remove seat back screens from domestic planes and United, led by American’s former President, has a similar vision.

Now Delta has announced they’ve hit 700 planes with seat back video. That’s out of a mainline fleet of just over 900 aircraft, and it makes sense they wouldn’t be adding seat back video to planes they’re soon to retire.

What’s more Delta has partnered with Hulu to offer their original shows on board, here’s the August list:

Title Genre Episodes
The Handmaid’s Tale Drama S1 Episodes 1-3
The Mindy Project Comedy S4 Episodes 1-6
Marvel’s Runaways Action, Sci-Fi S1 Episodes 1-3
Castle Rock Drama, Horror S1 Episodes 1-3
Casual Comedy S1 Episodes 1-4
Light As A Feather Thriller S1 Episodes 1-3
The Act Crime, Drama S1 Episodes 1-3
Shrill Comedy S1 Episodes 1-3
Batman and Bill Documentary Film
Fyre Fraud Documentary Film
Ask Dr. Ruth Documentary Film
Minding the Gap Documentary Film
Into the Dark: New Year, New You Horror Film

Delta, like Southwest and and Alaska, offers free inflight texting. They’ve tested free wifi (which JetBlue offers today) and have said they expect wifi to be free, a move that American and United can be expected to copy.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Delta has vanquished United and American. The best those poor souls can do is to copy what Delta does and fail in the execution. Delta now needs to conquer Alaska and Jet Blue. Delta’s seatback video and free wifi and texting are aimed at Delta’s remaining competition, Alaska and Jet Blue.

  2. I like Delta’s recently implemented change in starting the IFE as soon as the boarding process begins, so that you can begin watching your movie, tv show, etc. while the plane is still at the gate. Being Diamond Medallion, I typically am one of the first to board and get up and running with my movie or tv series usually while we still have 20 or so minutes until the scheduled departure. I like having an IFE in front of me and not having to fiddle around with my phone to connect to the airline’s streaming app and wifi etc. It’s simple and quick, and I guess others agree. A quick walk/look around during flight noted that of the 20 first class seats, 18 had their IFE’s on and running something other than the flight tracker.

  3. Please can someone get United to come to their senses?!! As a fortress city captive to United, I find that more often than not the WiFi-enabled system doesn’t work, attendants spend an inordinate amount of time educating passengers on how to use the system, and the online interface is clunky (have to stop a movie to use the restroom?….start from the beginning and/or hope the system doesn’t lock up)……if it wasn’t for Delta’s awful FF program, I’d seriously only fly Delta if I could……c’mon United—get with the times and get seat back entertainment!!

  4. RE: “I like having an IFE in front of me and not having to fiddle around with my phone to connect to the airline’s streaming app and wifi etc. It’s simple and quick…”

    @John,

    Agree 100%!

    No matter how many times I’ve tried to use (3rd rate, cheapAF) streaming to one’s personal device (during 2016 & 2017 it was most flights on several airlines; since last year, airlines/aircraft lacking seatback IFE avoided whenever possible) it just sucks.

    Period.

    Last October when short flights (NYC-RDU-NYC) required taking flights without seatback IFE, after 20 or so mins of streaming, my partner & got so fed up with crappy quality of programs offered; trying to keep the device in place (even with tablet holder we take along when flying); and then figuring out what to do when drinks/open containers with liquids are on our tray tables next to electronic gear; etc., that we put the device in a carry on bag – and didn’t even bother attempting to use for flight back to NYC (aboard a nasty & uncomfortable CRJ-900, which we couldn’t wait to get off).

    As noted, we AVOID airlines/aircraft that lack seatback IFE whenever possible.

    It’s a crappy, 3rd rate substitute NOT even worth bothering to use!

  5. @sunviking92 – Their new implementation doesn’t have any under-seat hardware. The new screens are all tablets and the content streams wirelessly.

    I for one am a fan of seat back entertainment. When I travel, I often am working on my laptop and it’s nice to have the option for TVs. My only (very minor, first world) gripe is that I have to keep a pair of corded headphones.

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