Taking a flight on Delta Airlines? Want to watch movies and TV shows to pass the time while in the air? With the right app, you can stream endless entertainment options directly to your phone, tablet or laptop on your next Delta flight.
This comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to know about watching inflight entertainment on Delta, including how their inflight WiFi and entertainment systems work, what apps allow you to stream media through Delta’s WiFi, tips for accessing Delta’s entertainment portal, and recommendations for the best apps and devices to use.
- Delta offers free inflight WiFi messaging but charges for Internet access to stream media. You need to pay for WiFi to use entertainment apps.
- You can access Delta’s entertainment portal without an app, but apps like Delta’s mobile app provide a better viewing experience.
- Make sure to download entertainment apps before your flight since you can’t download over Delta’s WiFi.
- Bring your own devices like tablets or laptops to access Delta’s entertainment options and use your own headphones.
- Downloading movies and shows to your device before your flight allows you to watch without purchasing WiFi access.
Overview of Inflight Entertainment on Delta
Delta offers inflight entertainment options on most domestic and international flights. This includes free television shows, movies, games, and other media accessible through:
- Seatback entertainment screens – Found on most aircraft with a selection of 100-300 movies, shows, games, etc. Screens are located behind each seat on larger planes.
- Overhead entertainment – Smaller overhead screens play media and you listen through provided headphones. Found on Delta’s smaller domestic planes.
- WiFi portal – Access a library of entertainment through Delta’s WiFi portal from your own device. You can browse movies, TV, games and more.
To watch inflight entertainment on your own device on Delta flights, you need to connect to Delta’s onboard WiFi. Here’s an overview of how their WiFi and entertainment works:
- Delta WiFi – Delta offers inflight WiFi on all flights operated by Delta. It’s provided by Gogo and Viasat. You purchase WiFi directly onboard. Basic messaging is free but Internet access required to stream costs $5-50 depending on flight duration and your device.
- Entertainment Portal – The Delta inflight entertainment portal allows you to watch movies, listen to music, view flight details and more over the Internet on your laptop, tablet or phone. You don’t need an app to access it, just the WiFi login info. But apps like the Delta app provide a better viewing experience.
- Digital Media – Delta has an extensive library of first-run and classic movies, hit TV shows, premium cable content, games, news channels, podcasts and more. The selection varies by aircraft and flight length. You can browse and access this from the WiFi portal or Delta app.
- Personal Devices – You can view Delta’s entertainment using your own cell phone, tablet, laptop or other smart device on flights with onboard WiFi. You provide your own headphones. Power outlets are available at most seats.
Now that you understand the basics of Delta’s inflight entertainment setup, let’s go over your options for actually watching shows and movies in the air.
Using Delta’s Entertainment Portal
Delta’s entertainment portal allows you to watch inflight media directly from any device connected to the WiFi. It works with laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Here’s how to access Delta’s inflight entertainment portal:
- Connect your device to the onboard WiFi. The WiFi login instructions are provided by the crew or on signage. Internet access costs extra.
- Open an Internet browser on your device and visit delta.com/wifi. This brings you to the portal homepage.
- Browse through Delta’s media library of movies, shows, games, music and more.
- Tap on any title to stream it directly on your device.
- You can pause, rewind, or make selections just like regular online streaming.
- Streaming quality depends on your device and the WiFi connection.
While functional, the website interface isn’t ideal for extended viewing on mobile devices. Downloading one of Delta’s apps provides a better entertainment experience as the video player is designed for mobile.
Delta’s Mobile App Has an Entertainment Player
For inflight entertainment, Delta’s free Fly Delta app offers significant advantages over using just the browser portal:
In-App Entertainment Player – Provides an easy-to-use interface optimized for watching movies and shows on phones or tablets. Lets you stream seatback content.
Downloading Media – Allows you to pre-download movies or shows to your device before the flight to watch offline inflight without purchasing WiFi access.
Content Information – Browse through Delta’s full inflight library to view descriptions, reviews, and details for movies and shows. Helps you decide what to watch.
Offline Access – Once downloaded, you can watch without connectivity making it a reliable option.
Here are step-by-step instructions for watching inflight entertainment using the Delta app:
- Download the free Delta app from your device’s app store before your flight.
- Open the app once connected to Delta’s WiFi and tap on the entertainment icon on the bottom (looks like a TV screen).
- Browse Delta’s inflight library and select something to watch.
- Tap the download button next to any title to download for offline viewing.
- Open the My Library section to watch any downloaded media inflight without WiFi needed.
- For streaming inflight, start playing any movie, show or audio.
- Tap the screen to bring up playback controls. Resume, rewind, subtitles and more.
- Streaming over WiFi lets you access Delta’s full library but requires an Internet connection.
Downloaded content is saved in the Delta app. Make sure to have enough storage space for movies and shows you want to watch offline inflight. Using Delta’s app for entertainment gives you more features, easier navigation and offline viewing options versus using just the web portal.
Which Devices Work Best for Inflight Entertainment?
To have the best experience watching shows or movies on your Delta flight, you want to make sure you use suitable devices. Here are some tips:
- Tablets – Ideal for watching movies and shows thanks to their large screens and lightweight, thin profiles. iPads and Android tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs are excellent options with 8+ hours of battery life.
- Smartphones – Today’s larger phones work very well for inflight viewing. Phones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offer gorgeous OLED screens 6″+ perfect for streaming.
- Laptops – Let you easily watch anything on a big built-in screen. MacBooks and many Windows laptops now offer 12+ hour runtimes. Bigger is better for viewing.
- Portable displays – Compact external USB-C displays can turn a phone or tablet into a nice inflight entertainment system. Look for 15″ or larger portable monitors that are 1080p or higher resolution.
- Noise-cancelling headphones – Invest in good over-ear headphones from Bose, Sony or Sennheiser that provide comfort and block out plane noise for hours. Use over in-ear buds.
- Power banks – Bring a USB battery pack rated at least 10,000 mAh to recharge your devices inflight as needed. Must be able to charge your gadgets via USB.
- Card readers – If storing movies on a MicroSD card, you may need a USB-C or Lightning card reader to transfer them to a tablet or smartphone before your flight.
Aim for devices with the largest, highest resolution screens you can comfortably carry onboard to optimize your viewing experience at 37,000 feet.
Downloading Movies & Shows to Watch Offline
The best way to ensure uninterrupted entertainment on your flight is to download movies, shows, games, etc. to your phone, tablet, or laptop before you depart.
Here are some tips for downloading media for offline viewing:
- Use the Delta app – This is the easiest way to download movies, TV shows and other media from Delta’s library for offline access. Just connect to WiFi at home and tap download.
- Check your flight – In the Delta app you can preview movies and entertainment available on your upcoming flight. Download options to have ready.
- Subscription services – Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, etc. all allow you to download titles onto mobile devices using their apps for offline viewing. Browse before your trip and download movies, shows and documentaries.
- Digital movies – If you purchase or rent digital movies from services like iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, etc. you can download these to phones/tablets and airplanes. Just redeem or buy before departure.
- Music & audio – Use apps like Spotify to download playlists, podcasts and audiobooks to listen to inflight. Toggle offline mode once in the air.
- Consider file sizes – Download smaller file sizes when possible to save storage room. Opt for standard definition video instead of HD when you have limited space.
- External storage – If your device is low on built-in storage, save media to a microSD card or USB drive and use a reader or adapter to transfer files.
- Charge devices – Make sure to charge your devices fully before each flight. Bring a portable charger in your carry-on bag if your flights are over 5 hours.
With the right apps and some pre-planning, you can easily download enough movies, TV shows, games, ebooks, music and more to stay entertained for even the longest flights.
Apps for Downloading Inflight Media
Here are some of the most popular and useful apps for downloading movies, shows, games and other media to your phone, tablet or laptop prior to your flight on Delta:
Netflix – Extensive library of Netflix originals, movies and shows. Download anything in your queue to the app. Basic plan starts at $10/month.
Hulu – Download hundreds of movies, shows, documentaries, and more to watch offline. Plans start at $7/month with ads.
Amazon Prime Video – Prime members can download from a huge catalog of included movies and shows using the Prime Video app on Fire, Android, iOS devices.
Disney+ – Allows you to download Disney movies and shows to mobile apps. Monthly subscription required.
HBO Max – Download movies and Max Original shows to watch without WiFi. Available on Apple and Android. Subscription starts at $10/month.
Apple TV – Download any movies or shows purchased or rented on iTunes to the Apple TV app. Watch offline.
YouTube – YouTube Premium subscription lets you download videos and YouTube Originals like documentaries for offline viewing. Also background play and ad-free.
Spotify – Listen to downloaded playlists, albums, podcasts and more without using cellular data. Available for free or paid Premium accounts.
Libby – Borrow free audiobooks and ebooks from your library and read or listen offline with the Libby app. Just needs library card.
Be sure to download any movies, shows or other media content before your flight using the apps above or other services. This ensures you’ll have plenty of entertainment options at 30,000 feet even without purchasing inflight WiFi access on Delta.
Top Recommended Devices for Inflight Entertainment
Based on their large, high-resolution screens, long battery life, entertainment apps and overall performance, here are some of the top devices perfect for watching downloaded or streamed movies and shows on Delta flights:
- Apple iPad Air (2022) – With a bright 10.9” screen, slim design, up to 10 hour battery and access to all media apps, the latest iPad Air is a phenomenal inflight entertainment tablet. Just add Bluetooth headphones.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 – Samsung’s OLED-screened Android tablet has stellar 12+ hour runtimes, booming quad speakers and S-Pen stylus included. Great for movies and productivity.
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021) – Combining a large 10.1” 1080p display, beefy battery life and hands-free Alexa assistant, the Fire HD 10 Plus is ideal for entertainment under $200.
- Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max – The iPhone 14 Pro Max offers Apple’s best 6.7” OLED display and video playback time along with smooth streaming and every media app you could want.
- Google Pixel 7 Pro – Google’s newest flagship phone stands out with a silky smooth 6.7” QHD+ 120Hz screen, loud stereo speakers and minimal bezel design perfect for watching movies or shows in flight.
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Samsung’s top phone has an expansive 6.8” QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a peak brightness of 1750 nits for stellar video viewing even in bright cabin lighting.
- Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022) – With a 13.6” Liquid Retina display, lightweight 2.7 lb chassis and up to 18 hours of battery life, the latest MacBook Air handles inflight viewing with ease.
- Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook – This affordable ChromeOS 2-in-1 laptop features a vivid 13.3″ touchscreen with 400 nit brightness, 1080p webcam and 10+ hours of runtime ideal for planes.
- HP Pavilion 15 – The 15.6″ Full HD screen HP Pavilion laptop provides a great screen for under $600. With 11+ hours of battery life and Windows 11, it’s a cost-effective inflight viewing option.
Tips for the Best Inflight Viewing Experience
Here are some additional tips for having the best experience watching inflight entertainment on your devices with Delta:
- Bring your own high quality over-ear noise cancelling headphones for comfort and to block out flight noise. Avoid earbuds.
- Adjust screen brightness to account for cabin lighting. OLED screens with HDR handle glare well.
- Enable Do Not Disturb to block notifications while viewing. Airplane mode to pause connectivity if downloaded content.
- Turn on blue light filter or night mode if watching late evening or overnight to reduce eye strain.
- Sit near a window and use the wall or windows as a backlight instead of overhead lights.
- Hydrate with water as altitude and dry air can fatigue eyes faster. Rest periodically.
- Bring a pillow or travel neck support to relax neck muscles and avoid soreness from prolonged viewing.
- Invest in a tablet or phone holder that clips onto the seatback tray if watching for hours to avoid arm strain holding a device.
- Use a Bluetooth splitting adapter like Tzoo to connect two headsets simultaneously for sharing movies.
- Carry disinfectant wipes and clean your seat area and device screens for hygiene.
With the right gear and preparation, you can enjoy many hours of movies, TV shows and more on your own phone, tablet or laptop on your upcoming Delta Airlines flights. Just follow the instructions in this guide to access Delta’s entertainment selection using their WiFi or your favorite downloaded media apps. Happy viewing!
Frequently Asked Questions About Delta Inflight Entertainment
Having trouble accessing Delta’s inflight entertainment? Here are answers to some common questions:
How do I connect to WiFi on my Delta flight?
Delta provides WiFi through Gogo and Viasat. Look for the WiFi network name and password info on signage or in the in-flight magazine. You purchase WiFi directly from Delta, pricing varies by flight duration and device type. Messaging apps have free limited access.
Why can’t I get the IFE portal to load on my device?
First make sure you are properly connected to the Delta WiFi and try restarting your device. There may be an issue with your browser – try a different one. If issues persist, alert a flight attendant. Entertainment access requires a WiFi connection and data speeds vary.
Does Delta offer power outlets or USB charging ports?
Most Delta aircraft have AC power outlets and/or USB ports accessible at each seat to charge your device. Look near your seat or under the seatback screen. Bring your own wall or USB charger. Check seat map for details on your aircraft.
Can I use Bluetooth headphones with the IFE system?
Yes, you can pair Bluetooth headphones to your phone, tablet or laptop to listen to Delta’s WiFi entertainment offerings or your own downloaded media. Make sure headphones are fully charged before boarding. You may experience interference if too close to plane communication systems.
Why won’t my downloaded movie play on my flight?
If you downloaded a movie using Delta’s app but can’t get it to play mid-flight, try restarting your device or the app. Ensure your device isn’t in airplane mode. Troubleshoot your WiFi connection if streaming media. Check downloads before your flight when possible.
Can I watch my own DVDs or Blu-Rays?
No. Delta does not offer DVD or Blu-Ray players on any aircraft so you cannot watch your own discs. Your option is to download digital media to your devices before flying. Some laptops and tablets still offer disc drives if saved to media before your trip.
How much does WiFi cost on Delta flights?
Delta offers 1 hour passes for $5 on shorter domestic flights. Long-haul international WiFi passes can cost upwards of $40-50. Prices vary depending on your flight distance, device type, and Delta’s current promotions. Basic messaging access is free.
Enjoy your Delta flight and don’t hesitate to ask the flight attendants if you need any other assistance accessing inflight entertainment during your travels!