Mind the “gap”: Delta knows it needs in-seat power!

When I arrived at today’s World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) single focus workshop at the lovely Sheraton in Universal City, California, I immediately sought out a power socket for my laptop.

When I didn’t see any free sockets in the room, I must admit I got a little bit frantic. I knew my computer wouldn’t play nicely today (it gets cranky without power, believe it or not) and I desperately needed it to work right. I am, after all,covering the conference for Air Transport Intelligence, the Flightglobal IFEC channel, this blog, and my fellow Twitter junkies.

Thankfully, I received a tip that I could find a power strip at the very front of the room. Once plugged in, I immediately sought out….you guessed it, connectivity!!!

Delta Air Lines is also acutely aware that connectivity and power go hand-in-hand. And the carrier realizes that, despite the fact it is equipping its fleet with Aircell’s Gogo in-flight Internet solution, its lack of in-seat power creates a “gap”.

Key quote from Delta manager – global product development Chris Babb:

“In-seat power is more important than ever. With the proliferation of PEDs, customers’ power needs and expectations have increased. It’s a gap that Delta has right now. I know some airlines like American and Virgin America have either power at all seats or a good portion so that is really going to become more important as Wi-Fi becomes more prevalent.”

By the way, Babb also said some other interesting things, like that he wouldn’t be surprised if Delta tests in-flight connectivity on overseas flights in 12 to 18 months!

(Photo above from Kaleboos’ Flickr stream)

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