Delta Nearly Completes Wifi Installation, Now What?

Delta, Inflight Entertainment

Delta’s promised wifi updates have been few and far between, but yesterday we found out that the airline is basically done with its plans. Now that they have an armada of wifi-equipped planes, what are they going to do with them?

What Delta Should Do with Wifi

The A319, MD88, MD90, 737, and 757-300 fleets are completely done. There are only three 757-200s and five A320s that don’t have it. All the 767s that are going to be outfitted (the ones that fly domestically) have been completed. It’s only the DC9-50 fleet which lags with 25 airplanes left.

We know that people can use airborne wifi to surf the web, but we also know that for the most part, people aren’t using it very much yet. But with this entire fleet outfitted, Delta has shelled out millions. There has to be a way to make that money back, right? Here are some ideas, some uh, more serious than others.

  • Integrate wifi capability into the seatback screens where available. Virgin America is working on this as we speak. It will allow all those people who don’t carry smart devices to pay to surf the web.
  • Open up an off track betting outlet for people on the plane who love them some horse racing.
  • Allow crews to use wifi to deal directly with Delta in order to reaccommodate passengers who are going to misconnect when they land.
  • Instead of the old smoking vs non-smoking, open up porn vs non-porn sections.* (*Should only be done on airplanes with leather seats.)
  • Have cached entertainment options on a server on the airplane that can be streamed to each seatback system or computer via wifi.
  • Start sending spam from Delta email addresses to people on the plane for cheap Viagra and penile enlargement.
  • Enable random chat with other GoGo users on other aircraft. Talk about cloud computing . . . (Rimshot, please.)

I know you’ve got better ones than I do. What say you?

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19 comments on “Delta Nearly Completes Wifi Installation, Now What?

  1. How about bringing back some oldie but goodie game shows and allow passengers to sign up in random teams? Press Your Luck and Family Feud come to mind…

  2. Can they use it to put GPS trackers on all the children, pets, etc. that they seem to have trouble with placing lately?

  3. I had a string of flights over two weeks and so I bought a longer period pass. Out of 4 flights, it only worked on 2. I guess 50% is OK…..except the fact that I had paid! Others were complaining too. In fairness, when it worked, I was very pleased with the speed. I hope they work the kinks out and I will be a regular customer.

  4. I absolutely loved having WiFi on a recent Delta flight, so I’m going to lay off the snark here. As a Webhead, it’s so great to be able to surf online on a plane–and unlike doing it on the ground, there’s no guilt about wasting time that could be spent doing, say, house projects.

  5. •Instead of the old smoking vs non-smoking, open up porn vs non-porn sections.* (*Should only be done on airplanes with leather seats.)

    That is to funny.

    I’m sure the people at Delta will love your photo used in the blog…

    For me I would have have a seat back screen I can watch a movie or TV show, or play games on to keep amused on a flight.

  6. As a very frequent flyer, I think wifi alone, while a great product to offer, misses the mark in a way that perhaps not many thought about. What am I talking about? Power supply!

    I use a MacBook Pro. The battery life for my 3 yo dinosaur is apprx 2 hours at the most efficient settings (time for a new battery? possibly). However, if I’m going to shell out $10 to surf the net on a 4 hour flight, I’m not getting my whole money’s worth when my battery dries up.

    But it’s not that easy. Adding power supplies to seats in small-bodied planes like the Mad Dogs, 73’s, 319/320’s, etc., is no small investment. AND… it adds weight.

    Wifi comes close, but not quite close enough.

    1. I’ve made similar comments preferring power over IFE and WiFi. I’m still in the camp that can go without internet for a few hours, and would rather than the power to watch my own movies, shows and other content.

      I have a Macbook as well – can get about 2-3 hours at the powersave settings.

    2. Brad….Steve Jobs wants to talk to you. He’ll sell you an iPad so you can have up to 9-10 hrs of power…

      I wonder how many people are buying iPads for that reason so they can use them on a wifi aircraft incase there are not power ports for their laptop.

    3. Could not agree more. I like in-flight WiFi (especially on transcon flights), but it eats battery power. Give me a power outlet and I’ll be online more.

    4. @Brad — jeez, get a new laptop, will ya? ;)

      @David SFeastbay — the iPad works great as my personal IFE system. I’ve not used it for WiFi onboard, but frankly, I am okay with being disconnected for a while and having the ability to focus on catching up on movies/books.

  7. I really like the cache of entertainment options, but even that had the potential to overwhelm the wifi. I’m not sure if they’re using g or n but depending on the exact g implementation this could get overwhelmed and might have to be limited to 10 or 20 users per plane, which could be bad from a customer perspective.

    But from a practical perspective they should do rebooking options with the FAs and maybe think about doing an order onboard meal options via wifi.

    1. Nicholas B. ….you will never see F/A’s using a computer to rebook passengers. They would just tell you to do it yourself online.

      I can see onboard food ordering as I think people would tend to buy something if they could look over the options and order it when they want. The success of online shopping should show that people like buying things online even if it’s on an airplane.

      1. I’ve been on an airline that allows you to order food and drink at your seat. I just can’t remember which one. Might have been V Australia. Pretty cool concept, really.

  8. I’m all in favour of inflight Wifi, however until a carrier can guarantee it (90% or more aircraft and all the bugs ironed out) it won’t be a deal maker for me.

    If i knew for a fact that might flights would definitely have Wifi it would be a differentiator.

    On a related note I flew LH in J for the first time recently and their business lounges only offer paid wifi. Seriously? $2000+ for a ticket and you get nickled and dimed to check your email pre flight.

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