Delta’s big upgrade: Nearly ad-free flights

While I’m not a fan of the way that Delta now handles Comfort Plus upgrades, Delta has made a number of nice improvements recently.  Top tier elites will like that status now trumps fare class for upgrades; and the fact that a companion on the same ticket will enjoy the same upgrade priority; and the expansion of Global Upgrade certificates to include Virgin Atlantic.

For everyone else, Delta has thrown in free inflight entertainment.  Previously, free inflight entertainment was one of the perks of first class (Business One) and Comfort Plus.  It was very nice to see Delta throw a bone to the back of the plane.

Arguably the biggest improvement in the in-flight experience has gone mostly unheralded.  Delta appears to have removed most in-flight advertising.

In October of last year, I had this to say about Delta’s in-flight advertising:

One of the things that I strongly dislike about flying Delta are the many onboard ads for Delta and their credit cards.  I find it especially irksome when trying to watch a movie and I’m first forced to watch Delta commercials.

And Rapid Travel Chai had complained about pop up ads back in February 2013 (if you squint you can see the pop up ad on the top-right of the screen in RTC’s photo):

ad-free flights

To many, this will sound like a minor complaint, but in my experience, the bombardment of ads truly made flying significantly less pleasant.  Delta forced passengers to watch ads before every TV show or movie.  Then, at seemingly random times, the PA system would automatically pause the show for a flight attendant to scream (PA sounds come across much louder over headphones) that you can and really should earn 30,000 miles with the Delta Gold credit card!

Less is more

ad-free flightsIn June Rapid Travel Chai reported that Delta had drastically reduced their in-flight ads and unnecessary PA announcements.  At the time I read this I thought back to my recent flights and thought it was true, but I couldn’t remember for sure.  Since then, I’ve flown a round-trip international flight and couple domestic flights and I definitely agree.  At least on all of my recent flights, the only Delta ad on the in-flight entertainment system was when I first used it.  I didn’t notice any pop up ads.  And, best of all, I can’t remember the last time a flight attendant sang the virtues of the Delta Gold credit card.

In comparisons between AA and Delta that I’ve written about in the past, Delta’s overuse of in-flight ads was one of the only ways in which I thought the flight experience on AA was better.  Now, on that aspect at least, Delta has fully caught up.

Reader experiences

I’m curious if you’ve seen improvement in Delta’s in-flight ad experience as well?  How about other airlines?  Now that Delta has dropped out of that particular race to the bottom, which airlines continue to pelt flyers with advertisements throughout the flight?  Please comment below.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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4 Comments on "Delta’s big upgrade: Nearly ad-free flights"

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Throw a bone to the back of the plane…’s a movie, now go fetch…..LOL.


[…] Here comes a good one. In June Delta rolled out free inflight entertainment on all its flights that have built-in entertainment or streaming on personal devices. That is essentially every flight except single-class regional aircraft. It also has pared back the once-intrusive ads. […]


In the last few weeks I’ve flown twice. The first was broken into 3 segments both there and back and I didn’t deal with a single ad. The second was 2 segments there and back. On the way down no ads, but on the way back on both flights they were pushing their Delta Gold card.