Airlines are rapidly realising that in-flight entertainment on tablets is the way the IFE market is going. A number of airlines have already implemented tablet-based IFE, and many more are looking into it.
These technologically advanced tablet-based systems have brought many advantages to both the airline industry and to the passenger. The airline can outsource its IFE and get bespoke content for its customers: early window movies in high definition; TV and video; in-flight and bespoke magazines; books; and all sorts of games. With all of the content on a tablet, the weight the aircraft has to carry is significantly reduced. Less weight equals less fuel used, which equals lower costs. Back in 2008, in a bid to improve fuel efficiency, Emirates banned all paper onboard its Airbus A330s, including in-flight magazines. The company estimated it saved them one tonne per flight. That’s some saving.
With the advantages to the airline, come advantages to the passenger. A long flight will seem to go much more quickly when you are fully entertained. And as all seasoned travellers will know, you are much happier sitting in front of children that have plenty to distract them. You get fewer tantrums and fewer kicks in the back of your seat!
Like all things in life, there is a downside. These devices are highly portable and extremely desirable pieces of technology. Whereas even the busiest flight attendant would notice someone stealing an aircraft seat, putting a tablet in your pocket or carry-on bag is more tempting.
We have heard of a number of airlines offering tablets and other portable devices such as Sony PSPs who have lost devices. This is costly both in terms of equipment, the airline’s reputation and the potential risk from pirated content. If you offer the service but cannot provide it to your customer because equipment has been stolen, there is also a reputational cost. Equally, if an airline continues to be unable to guarantee the security of its devices, it will end up discontinuing the service altogether. Ultimately, the passengers will suffer as they will then be missing out on a great in-flight entertainment experience. Moreover, the airline will suffer as it’s things like in-flight entertainment that can sway a passenger in his choice of airline in the first place.
Since easyJet launched last year, not one device has been lost or stolen. We are really proud that the airlines and other travel operators that we supply – and their own passengers – are always able to ENJOY EVERY MOMENT with Mezzo.
How do we do it? We’d love to tell you how we keep our customers’ devices secure, but sorry, we’re not giving away our secrets!
Image: © Can Stock Photo