Returning from a trip recently I had the joys of experiencing Delta Airline’s ridiculous TV/movie viewing program. Here’s what you get…a screen on the headrest in front of you that allows you to choose from a number of “free” TV shows or pay $5 for a movie. Why do I have the word “free” in quotes? Well, there were roughly 18 channels I believe and of those 18 channels only one or two were actually viewable. Oh yay! I get to watch Martha Stewart!
Ok, so live TV viewing is out of the question. You either get an error screen that says they can’t pick up the satelite signal or you get a frozen bitmapped screen of something that at one time resembled a TV show. Time to check out the movies…
Five bucks. Really now…come on Delta. Are you THAT greedy that you have to try to milk a captive audience for five dollars to watch a movie on a screen that is tiny with no THX or surround sound? In this day and age, it’s ridiculous to charge that…especially with so many alternatives available to the traveler.
I looked around and saw maybe half a dozen people pay $5 to watch a movie (that of course kept getting interrupted every time the captain made an announcement). I myself grabbed the iPod and watched “Aeon Flux” on that. Usually I travel with my PowerBook and have anything from my DVD library available to me. Again…looking around I saw more people watching movies on their iPods, portable DVD players, and laptops than I saw paying $5 for a tiny screen with crappy sound that gets interrupted.
Here’s a thought (and it’s actually a good one Delta…pay attention). You’ve already got the captive audience. Instead of trying to milk us all for a film, make some extra revenue with advertising. If we don’t like your service, we bring our own (free) service. However, offer free movies to your flying customers and you can charge advertisers whatever you want as we sit and watch their commercials while waiting for the movie to start. I guarantee you’ll make more from advertising than you will with the $30 you made from renting the headphones or whatever per flight. It’ll be pretty damn easy to guage the metrics per flight also and offer these reports to your sponsors.
See how easy that was? Happier customers, a better revenue stream for you…everyone is happy.