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Delta is now the only American airline to give away this service free

Benjamin Zhang
Delta Flight
Delta Flight

(Flickr / ERIC SALARD)

Flying on Delta in the near future?

If you are, grab a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, because Delta Air Lines has some free movies and TV shows for you.

The Atlanta-based airline announced on Friday that by July 1 all in-flight entertainment would be free for passengers to stream via Delta Studios.

The service will also be available free on aircraft equipped with seat-back entertainment screens.

The airline says the free service will be available on 90% of its more than 1,000 aircraft.

It will not be available on Delta's 50-seat regional jets and older aircraft that are not equipped with Wi-Fi.

While boutique airlines such as Virgin America, Southwest, and JetBlue have long offered free satellite TV aboard their flights, movies and premium TV content require additional fees.

Delta says it is now the only US-based airline to offer all in-flight entertainment free.

"The only thing better than operating the world's largest in-flight entertainment-equipped fleet is providing it free to all our guests," Delta Air Lines CMO Tim Mapes said in a statement. "Our commitment is to provide Delta customers with the industry’s best on-board services – period."

Delta Studios offers more than 300 movies, 750 TV shows, and 2,400 songs along with 18 channels of satellite TV.

As they have increased in profitability, US airlines have taken steps to reintroduce many of the creature comforts that were abandoned during the Great Recession. United and American have restored free snack service to coach passengers.

Free in-flight entertainment is just the next step. Both American and United offer free video streaming aboard their flights, but the availability of such services is not as widespread as in Delta's fleet.

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