Should legacy airlines remove seat back IFE options?

Back to Forum

This topic contains 28 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  AMcWhirter 5 Jul 2012
at 15:10

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)

  • Anonymous


    Cathay Pacific has recently revealed they are considering removing their seatback TVs and, instead, using iPads for inflight entertainment (IFE) as a way to improve fuel economy. The tablet is used by several low-cost carriers in lieu of seatback TVs – do you think this is a good idea for legacy airlines to follow suit? Why?


    I often read newspapers on planes, and switch to IFE at mealtimes – at which point, where on earth are you supposed to put the tablet??

    Don’t get me wrong, I have happily used my wife’s iPad on planes, but I much prefer to have proper IFE, especially in premium cabins – the screens (on the better-designed airlines) are much bigger, better placed, easy to move aside when you need to go to the toilets or visit the bar. There is also a limit to what you can store on your own tablet, and although the airline could stream to your tablet I suspect that the potential for interference or for restricted bandwidth is such that the choice would become quite restricted

    No, I would prefer to keep the current systems, thanks – especially on CX, whose system and range of viewing choices is just superb (although I do wish they would switch it on earlier!)

    I would also add that although CX may have flagged the idea, I don’t believe this is something they will do for some years – remember they have just launched brand new economy, premium economy, and business class seating, all with IFE. I can’t see them suddenly backtracking and taking all the screens away in the middle of a major seating upgrade like that


    Completely daft idea. Not sure how we will be able to watch the live flight map? Would be interesting to see them distribute them after take off and collect up after. At around £400 a pop for an ipad, then the ones that get accidently broken and the ones that accidentley fall into peoples bags….. not cheap! At least with the BA LCY service its a small plane so manageble, but a 747, 777, 380…. i dont think so.


    Yes. Get rid of them. The boxes steal under-seat space, the extra weight contributes to high fuel costs and we all end up paying for rights to films that many of us never watch. At most, they should provide a screen with a slot to plug in an ipod, ipad or HDMI (and thus allow you to watch your device through a bigger screen) but a holder for a tablet would probably be fine (and would address Ian’s mealtime problem). I have at least a hundred hours of tv programmes, podcasts and films that I haven’t got round to watching yet. That’s before Amazon becomes a serious tablet player and starts its super-efficient personalised marketing


    John Slosar, CX’s CEO, says his airline “will wait for another five or six years before taking action.”

    So there will be no change of policy at CX as regards IFE in the near future.

    But technology is advancing at a rapid pace (the concept of “tablets”, for example, was unknown until a few years ago) so it’s anyone’e guess what the situation will be like in five or six years time.

    However, chances are that portable entertainment devices will become lighter to carry, they will hold more content and, most important of all for the public at large, they will become more affordable.

    Microsoft has just unveiled its own tablet and now I read that Google is poised to unveil a budget-priced model:

    So who knows what the future will bring.


    By the time they get round to doing anything there will presumably be people producing low cost tablet options suitable for use in this way.


    In my view the airlines should focus less on the hardware and more on the content.

    Yes, I have a tablet.
    Yes, it’s good to use.
    Yes, it has games on.
    Yes, it has some movies on.
    Yes, it is fun for about 2 hours and is useful for some work stuff.


    No, I cannot afford to put every Hollywood release I want to see on there.
    No, it does not keep me interested for an entire flight.
    No, the hard disk does not have enough space for all the IFE stuff I want.
    No, I do not want to spill gravy on it at mealtimes.

    So in summary, yes, I want the IFE, cause I have a tablet to keep me interested on buses and coaches and other journeys and at home. But for a flight I want something better.

    One possible solution (I think Qantas is trialling this) is that tablets are available but additionally, if you connect to the wifi, you can get all the same content on your own device.


    Also I dont think ipads are designed to be kept on for hours on end day after day as they would probably burnout very quickly.


    Dont think the likes of EK would agree with this idea as the advertise thier ife and the amount of choice on it.


    Honestly Becky you do spout some nonsense on here. There is no evidence at all to support your comment they would “burnout very quickly”. I know people who use the iPad almost full time for business and have not had problems.


    Sorry but i’m, no expert in tech stuff


    The comment of ‘an opinion about everything and knowledge about nothing’ springs to mind.

    Less would certainly be more.


    BeckyBoop – 25/06/2012 22:06 GMT

    So why make the comments if you don’t know what you are talking about? It’s not exactly helpful to other forum users.


    I thought ipads are only really designed for personal not commerical use. I would of thought using one for hours on end everyday wouldnt be good good thing. Thats all.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below