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The rise of bring-your-own-device entertainment and the decline of seat-back screens and complicated wiring is a win in the long run for both passengers and airlines.

Delta Air Lines announced this morning that beginning July 1, in-flight entertainment would be free on 90% of the airline’s fleet.

The majority of passengers consuming television shows, movies, and music on Delta will be doing so through their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones: 1,000 aircraft only offer a streaming option versus 400 that offer seat-back screens. A smaller number of aircraft will also have live television.

Delta’s promise to cover the vast majority of its fleet on both domestic and international flights sets it apart from rivals at United Airlines and American Airlines which offer similar, but more limited services. American, for instance, rolled out expanded entertainment in February, but it is not available on all aircraft. United has a large collection of media available for streaming to personal devices, but the service is not fleet-wide.

“The only thing better than operating the world’s largest in-flight entertainment-equipped fleet is providing it free to all our guests,” Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement. “Our commitment is to provide Delta customers with the industry’s best on-board services – period.”

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Tags: amenities, delta air lines

Photo credit: A promotional image of a passenger with many screens at her disposal. Delta Air Lines

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