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Prior to the advent of in-flight Wi-Fi, strapping into a metal tube hurtling across the sky was one of the last remaining places to disconnect from the frenzy of work and life. For a brief moment in time, where movies were loaded into seatback screens yet Gogo wasn’t around to keep you synced with Earth’s surface, vegging out and savoring the entertainment mere inches from your retinas was totally okay. In fact, it ranked pretty high among life’s littlest big pleasures.

Now, that pleasure has competition. Though its intentions are no doubt good, Delta Air Lines has inadvertently introduced a guilt-trip: Passengers will now find LinkedIn Learning courses in flight, free of charge through Delta Studio.

delta crj900
Pardon the bother, but are you utilizing this flight to learn something new? (Photo by the author / The Points Guy)

Let’s take a brief look back at what used to be a simple exercise in justification:

  • “Might as well watch a movie! There’s nothing else to do!”
  • “I’ve earned this!”
  • “Honestly, I need to be up-to-speed on the latest Hollywood rumblings. You know, for my career.”
  • “Ah, Gogo is down! Guilt-free binge-watching coming right up! Ooh! Biscoff!”
  • “Pretty sure I need to screen at least three more in-flight movies to make these noise-cancelling headphones worth the purchase price.”

Now, however, the entire dynamic has changed. Delta asserts that the courses, which are completely free and slated to be updated frequently, are “taught by expert instructors and cover a variety of topics like managing stress, getting things done, communication and career development.” You know, things that could totally benefit your life. Things that you’ll probably regret missing out on if you just watch the latest Kevin Hart comedy.

Additionally, Delta Studio is featuring a new interview series hosted by LinkedIn Editor-In-Chief Daniel Roth, including in-depth discussions with some of the world’s top leaders. For those who prefer text over visuals, written interviews can also be found in the recurring “5 Minutes With” column in Delta’s Sky magazine, which spotlights notable leaders in business.

delta aircraft
The last thing you see before you enter the aircraft, er, newfangled learning institution. (Photo by the author / The Points Guy)

Delta Studio is available on more than 600 aircraft via seatback screens and can be streamed by customers via their personal devices on all of Delta’s mainline fleet and most regional aircraft. Chris Buckner, Delta’s director of onboard product and customer experience, added a really good point on the whole thing: “For professionals on the go, finding the time to learn a new skillset or subject can be challenging. Through our partnership with LinkedIn, Delta customers can access a suite of learning materials at their fingertips — 30,000 feet in the air.”

So, basically, there’s no excuse to not walk off of your next Delta flight without a wealth of new knowledge. It’s been a good run, mindless entertainment!

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