A trend in inflight entertainment (IFE) is for the airlines to remove the back seat systems and replace them with entertainment delivered over the airplane’s wifi system. The passenger will then connect to the server with their BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) choice.
This will reduce costs for the airlines in that it will reduce weight (cheaper fuel) – each IFE weighs about 13 pounds – and reduce on maintenance costs as they age and break.
A software driven solution will be easier to maintain, tailor to the airplane needs and upgrade. An often quoted statistic is that 75% of passengers carry a BYOD which sounds about right.
For customers who do not bring a device, a tablet will be available to rent. The problem of flat batteries are taken care of by providing USB or AC charging outlets per seat.
The Canadian airline WestJet announced in February that they would be going down this path. However, not all are following where Delta announced that it’s newer planes, it would be running a system called “Delta Studio” which provides both options – screen and wifi. Some airlines are looking at going another way – putting in HDTV grade screens.
Which then brings up the subject of entertainment content. As a captured audience with not a lot else to do for the next few hours, you are a premium consumer. Continue reading..