Delta recently made headlines by introducing their new, international Main Cabin experience last month — which features an updated menu and “welcome” cocktail.
But for us AvGeeks, there are a few touches I wish Delta would add.
Yes, I understand these are subject to manufacturer and budget limitations.
But still, these features are available on other carriers — and would be great to see (and hear) sometime soon on Delta Air Lines flights.
Back in the days when I flew United a lot more than I do (which is rarely ever), I loved listening to their inflight entertainment (IFE)’s audio channel 9.
Titled “From the Flight Deck,” passengers could listen to communications between the flight’s pilots and their active air traffic control (ATC) channel. (Based on everything I could find, it’s no longer available.)
It was a fun, unique way to follow your flight.
I found it especially entertaining and insightful when my plane was in busy airspace. (Think Southern California, the New York metro area, Chicago, Atlanta, etc.) Hearing the rapid-fire, usually succinct exchanges between planes and ATC demonstrates how sharp pilots are — monitoring all the constant radio traffic while still safely operating the aircraft. (Whichever pilot isn’t flying the plane usually handles radio communications.)
United pilots were — quite understandably — not obligated to turn on Live from the Flight Deck. Allowing passengers to “eavesdrop” on their ATC chatter was at the captain’s discretion.
In fact, Lucky over at OMAAT wrote about From the Flight Deck several years ago and noted at the time “5-10% of pilots who do not turn it on, which I respect, mainly because they have had bad experiences in the past with ‘armchair’ pilots in the cabin, which I do believe has happened to some.”
I can see it now: But, captain, I totally make that maneuver all the time on Microsoft Flight Simulator in the easy mode! (Disclaimer: I’m a big FSX nerd and very excited for the new version.)
These are so cool.
Despite being an option on their new Airbus A350, I guess Delta decided not to spend the extra cash.
Still, it’d be pretty fun to enjoy additional views of your flight — especially if you don’t have a window seat.
Tricked Out Flight Tracker Map
I label this the “and a half” feature because Delta already has a flight tracker map on its IFE —
— but there are other, jazzier versions available.
Check out just some of the options I enjoyed during an LAX to CDG long-haul aboard Air France.
The Real Picture
Delta knows its loyal flyers appreciate the mothership’s great service, fantastic people, and overall excellent product.
Medallions and other Delta fans won’t bolt for another airline simply because a few awesome audio-visual features aren’t available. So why would Delta spend the money on something that doesn’t greatly contribute to the flight?
But it would be fun to listen to along to ATC while watching a tail camera feed of my flight’s journey. 🙂
What Features Would You Like to See (and Hear?)
Are there any cool, AvGeek-y audio or visual elements you’d like Delta to consider? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!
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