Surprise: Flyers Don’t Want Seatback Screens


When it comes to in-flight entertainment, more and more passengers prefer to ditch the seatback system and bring their own devices.

According to a new study by market-research firm Osurv, a majority of airline passengers are OK with no seatback entertainment on flights. About 71 percent of respondents said that they would be fine without in-flight entertainment, noting a preference for the larger, higher quality screens of personal devices like iPads. And some passengers cited a general dislike of the in-flight systems (with 9 percent pointing out their potentially germy surfaces).

The results may be unexpected. In a time when airlines cut amenities and services while raising prices, in-flight entertainment seemed to be the simplest way to keep passengers occupied. Some airlines have even upgraded their in-flight entertainment options: Earlier this summer, Delta rolled out free streaming video for all flyers (see right), while all new Airbus A330 planes are built with fourth-generation in-flight entertainment systems (which, a press release notes, include 3-D film capability).

But these systems don’t come cheap. According to The New Yorker‘s David Owen, each seat-back screen alone costs $10,000 apiece, plus another couple of thousand dollars for the hand-held remote. Outfitting a new aircraft or updating an older model could cost millions of dollars—costs that are conceivably are passed onto the passenger.

With an abundance of personal-device options, from mp3 players to tablets to advanced flight-friendly e-readers, flyers may not need the dazzling new in-flight systems anyhow. So perhaps carry-on entertainment is a boon for the consumer. If they don’t want to use the drop-down or seatback screen anyhow, eliminating these from new aircraft could significantly ease production and maintenance costs.

A full 94 percent of the survey’s respondents considered the trend a cost-cutting measure by airlines, and 27 percent thought the savings should be passed onto them by way of cheaper seats. But we imagine that, as ever, cut costs are not passed along to the flyer. Rather, they will go to the airlines themselves.

When pressed as to why ticket prices spiral out of control, airlines like to point out the amazing array of services they offer. But if those services are unwanted, airlines would be silly to keep building them into planes and charging passengers for the pleasure.

What do you think, readers? Are you OK with using your own devices on a plane, or do you enjoy the in-flight entertainment?

Source: Dara Continenza

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SAS Introduce Brand New Long Haul Interiors


These are great plane seats! Hoping that local (Philippine carriers) airlines will invest in seats like these.

TheDesignAir

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SAS, excitingly, have announced a brand new cabin concept for their long haul aircraft. Featuring business class, premium economy and economy classes, the new cabin and seat designs leap the airline into 2014 with a loud bang. Competing against carriers such as Finnair who have already pushed their airline forward with new designed cabins, SAS haven’t fallen behind, showcasing they know exactly what customers want.

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Being launched in early 2015, the retrofitted A330 and A340 fleet will offer state of the art business class seats and renovated premium economy (SAS Plus) and economy (SAS go) cabins. We are great fans of the new cabin designs. The designers have gone for a mix of business elegance with contemporary cool, the results are sophisticated, warm and welcoming, and there is a hint of Winkreative’s Swiss interior designs which we are also huge fans of.

The business class cabin, featuring Thomson Vantage XL seats…

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Philippine Airlines: Staying Connected


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The netizens of the world’s social-media capital may now take—and share—their selfies at 30,000 feet.

Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country’s flag carrier, recently introduced its newest long-range aircraft, the Airbus A330-330 HGW (high gross weight) jet, as part of the company’s ongoing fleet-modernization program. The plane offers GSM (Global System for Mobile) and Wi-Fi capabilities midflight through its “iN AiR” connectivity feature.

“The advent of the biclass A330 HGW completes our menu of new product offerings,” PAL President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said. “This sophisticated aircraft is aimed at the discriminating business segment of the market, an important part of PAL’s customer base.”

The aircraft’s passengers may avail themselves of Internet access onboard via Wi-Fi at the rates of $5 for 30 minutes, $10 for an hour, $20 for two hours, and at $40, they can stay connected throughout the flight to upload a snapshot or check e-mail. Also, calls and text messaging, which were once not allowed in-flight, are now also available via GSM. “We are now entering a new generation of in-flight entertainment,” Ang said. Aside from offering precious in-flight connectivity, this mammoth of a plane can ferry 368 passengers—323 in economy, 27 in the more spacious premium economy, and 18 in luxurious business class. The airbus will serve flights to Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Haneda, Nagoya and Seoul.

Plus, what makes the flight experience even more unique and special in this aircraft is the new wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE), marking a first in the Philippines airline market.

“Through wireless technology, we are able to enhance and personalize our IFE offerings, and deliver these straight to the passenger’s own gadget,” Ang exclaimed.

Passengers can now stream videos, movies, music and television shows using their smartphones, laptops and tablets in-flight. Had your gadgets checked-in? No worries, as PAL even lends iPads to its passengers for free.

Beyond the tech goodness that PAL now offers, the business-class passenger can now also enjoy some shut-eye as if he or she were snoozing away in his or her own room, what with the sophisticated and ultra-modern Equinox 3D seats of this premium cabin class, which can be transformed into a bed with the click of a button.

The V-shaped twin-seat design extends to 6 feet long, with the window seat elevating just above the arm rest and the aisle seat just above the floor for better slumber experience on air, and comes with the full range of features sought by business-class passengers: electrical leg rest with ottoman; retractable privacy divider; in-seat power supply; USB port; glass holder; reading light; coat hook; electrical seat controls; and ample storage space to keep belongings within reach.

This topnotch design is by French firm Sogerma, debuting the technology first to PAL. The French company has been providing state-of-the-art business-class seat designs to major airlines, including Emirates, Etihad Airways and China Southern Airlines.

Michael Tan, one of PAL’s board members and son of company owner Lucio Tan, said there are six more A330s set to arrive as part of the company’s fleet-modernization program.