Tuesday, August 28, 2012

IFE on a Tablet.

The Boeing B767, the venerable workhorse of the North Atlantic in the 1990s is still alive and kicking. As usual, I only noticed the aircraft type after I booked the flight. I got used to AA operating B777 from London to Chicago and back. The last time I flew in one was probably in 2003 going to Colombo from Abu Dhabi with Gulf Air.  

I am not a movie goer, so the only time I get to watch the latest releases is when I am on an 8 hours or more  flight.  I happen to like AA, their food is good and plenty, at least in Business, their oldish airplanes are usually presentable and the crew are helpful and smiling, yes smiling in spite of all the problems with Chapter 11.

However, their IFE at best ranks way down when compared with Emirates, Etihad and    yes, even BA.  I am aware that their new aircraft will have improved IFE and WI-FI, but then this is for a different time.

The B767 has the old IFE, with overhead screens and a preset program. 
Well, not in Business, AA offers a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, which actually has a better movie selection than their regular AVOD.

The tablet provides a better visual and audio experience than most installed systems. The screen is larger than most and being portable is great, totally flexible on where to place it.  It is easier to navigate and the touch screen is simply excellent.

Offering IFE on a tablet is probably a very cost effective solution when one considers the cost of an aircraft retrofit which could run in the millions of US Dollars. It is also easier to manage when IFE joins the list of ancillary fees.

In any case I found it enjoyable and much better than the unseat system.

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