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Posts from the ‘IFE (in-flight entertainment)’ Category

BYO “IFE” ≠ cheaper fares (well, not yet anyway…)

September 4th, 2014

Kinny Cheng

Hugo Martin, for the Los Angeles Times:

Airlines that ask passengers to bring their own laptop computers, tablets or smartphones to watch in-flight movies and television should pass on the airline’s savings to fliers.

That is the sentiment of an overwhelming percentage of passengers questioned about in-flight entertainment.

“Should” does not necessarily translate to “must”.

That moving map: the airlines’ next ancillary revenue target!

May 13th, 2013

Kinny Cheng

Mary Kirby, sharing her thoughts on the evolution of the in-flight moving map, via The APEX Editor’s Blog:

It’s a generally held belief that the majority of airline passengers who are exposed to inflight entertainment view the moving map at some point during their flight, making it the most popular show in the air.

“Evidence [shows] that passengers get a great deal of comfort out of knowing where they are,” Airborne Interactive CEO Ian Walberg told attendees at a recent APEX educational event in London. “Maps answer the question: ‘Is the torture complete?’” he quipped.

The public generally perceives maps to be free. Whether offered on a personal electronic device (PED) or via IFE, maps have become “a commodity and delivery channel that appears to have no charge associated with it”, says Walberg. Of course, he says, that perception is misplaced, which is why industry stakeholders are exploring ways that airlines can more fully drive ancillary revenue and advertising dollars from moving maps.

Of course, we all know nothing is truly free in this world.

For the longest time I can remember, that moving map has always been an integral part of the flying experience. The first time I ever laid my eyes on one was on a Boeing 747, where it was presented only in a cinematic setting for the entire section of a cabin to experience (little boys and girls who only knows seat-back displays, that luxury did not exist back at the time).

Eventually, this was made more exclusive once on-board in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems became accessible at (virtually) arms reach, where a moving map “channel” became available. With Singapore Airlines, the first-generation Wiseman IFE systems had this showing on video channel 99.

But it has only been recently where the moving map software received a noticeable upgrade, specifically with how some information is now presented more “picturesquely” (that is, more graphically in pictures and/or diagrams), and even with different geographical point-of-views (or visual perspective) too.

So far, this freedom of information hasn’t only been comforting for some, it has also become a right. If a particular airline wishes to add a revenue-generation aspect to it, the design should not hinder the current user experience of the moving map. We all know well what happens once commercialisation overtakes true practicality.

With that said, I also believe the moving map product/service can most certainly become interactive, and successfully add greater value to the overall passenger, or more specifically the traveller’s, experience via various means.

Peach to offer in-flight entertainment downloads at Kansai Airport

March 25th, 2013

Kinny Cheng


With support from Osaka’s Kansai International Airport, Peach passengers will soon be able to download movies, TV shows, music, magazines, games or other content to their personal devices through the airport terminal’s Wi-Fi network, which they can enjoy without limitation while in the airport or on their flight.

The service is called ‘high!’ entertainment and is available on domestic flights departing from Kansai Airport’s Terminal 2, which has been specially build to accommodate low-cost carriers.

A new way of obtaining on-board entertainment content — prior to the flight. Ensures passengers are able to obtain what they want before boarding, and possibly guarantees issue-free operation during the flight.

Also encourages the same people to arrive at the airport a bit earlier… (so that they’re not late for their flight!)

There will be around 30 titles available during the initial trial period and the new service will be fully up and running in June, when it will offer over 1,000 titles comprising free and pay-to-download content. To access the ‘high!” inflight entertainment content, passengers have to download an Apple iOS or Google Android app (pending for approval at the moment). Compatibility with Windows 8 is planned for a later date.

If done properly, the trial should allow Peach to gauge the service’s usability and popularity.

I personally would be very interested to see how well the system works in a real-life situation, especially when it’s being bogged down by everyone at the same time trying to grab their content just before the flight.

Finnair trials wireless IFE and Internet

March 20th, 2013

Kinny Cheng

Straight from the Finnair press release:

Tomorrow, on 20th March, Finnair will begin a two-month trial of the tablets and wireless internet service on board one of its Airbus A330 wide body aircraft. The plane, with the registration OH-LTT, will be used on both scheduled and charter flights.

“We want to enhance our customers’ in-flight comfort,” says Peter Gabrielsson, Vice President Customer Experience, Finnair. “We want to test the functionality of the wireless network on intercontinental flights and how the passengers use the equipment during the flight. We are interested in learning how the use is divided between the fixed in-flight entertainment system and the tablet.”

In other words, dipping toes into water to gauge the practicality of such a set-up.

OnAir will be the provider for the trial’s in-flight Internet connectivity.

Perfecting that connected travelling office of ours…

March 12th, 2013

Kinny Cheng

Hugh Dougherty, writing for The APEX Editor’s Blog:

For the frequent business traveller, being connected in-flight means being able to work. We asked five tech-savvy executives about their recent experiences with technology on board aircraft and at the airport.

As a tech-savvy and frequent air traveller myself, I find their experiences and scenarios quite interesting, albeit unsurprising.

Hugh’s piece is definitely recommended reading for any self-praised business traveller who wants to get a feel for how things work for other people, from pre-flight (at the airport) and during a flight. There’s never that one correct model answer — as whatever works for you best, is!

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