Delta differentiates passenger experience with new Wi-Fi portal

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Making good on its vow to offer its airline partners more tailored solutions for entertaining and informing passengers, Gogo has worked with Delta Air Lines to jointly launch a new, customised in-flight portal for all customers using Wi-Fi on Delta aircraft.

The portal, dubbed Delta Connect, will offer an expanded range of free content for passengers such as more choices for entertainment and shopping as well as flight and destination information, said the US major.

Delta Connect partners include luxury shopping service Gilt.com and restaurant reservations site OpenTable.com. Passengers will also have free access to partners that provide information on destination oriented concerts, festivals and events as well as news and entertainment.

Additionally, Delta has joined American Airlines in offering Gogo's wireless IFE solution. The 'entertainment on demand' offering is initially being offered on Delta's 16 Boeing 757-300 aircraft. Choices will include an introductory price for television programming starting at $.99 and movies available for $3.99 from major Hollywood studios.

Delta's domestic fleet is equipped with Gogo's air-to-ground (ATG)-based in-flight Wi-Fi solution, and the carrier is in the process of fitting regional jets with the service.

A Gogo Wi-Fi purchase is not required to access Delta Connect content or the video service, said Delta, noting that entertainment on demand will be available for laptops and expanded to tablet and mobile devices by early 2012 on 757-300s.

Additionally, Delta said passengers on board its 32 Airbus A330s can expect "a redesigned in-flight entertainment experience" with more entertainment choices - including a Delta Sky Kids section - by the end of 2011. The improved IFE system will expand to the rest of Delta's fleet of nearly 300 aircraft equipped with personal in-flight entertainment by mid-2012. Delta is a big customer of Panasonic Avionics.

"Customer demand is evolving every day and Delta is ahead of the game, delivering on customer preferences as it relates to technology and innovation," said Bob Kupbens, Delta vice president - eCommerce.

Gogo is also working to offer customised portals for its other airline partners. The Chicago-headquartered company originally pushed its own brand, but in July announced a change in strategy, saying: "We heard loud and clear from our airline partners that they want this site and this platform to be ownable and brandable for them so they can create a differentiated experience that's aligned with their brand. So a clear deliverable was to give them what I call a canvass that they can have a differentiated experience that aligns with their brand, their messaging their customer experience."