Future air travel unlikely to offer television screens
FLYING between Denver and Palm Springs last month I thought I might pass the time enjoying an in-flight movie. The problem was, there were no TV screens. This is just one of the major shifts taking place in the aviation industry that will change the way we think about airline travel, some of it for the better, some for the worse. As the demand for WiFi in the air increased, the major airlines of the world began researching the best ways to provide this service, and perhaps add a few dollars to the bottom line. To gain access to viewing on flights without TV screens, passengers must install a United Airlines app on their iPads or smartphones. Once done free TV is accessible, with extra charges only for recently released movies. For full WiFi service there is a also charge. International airlines are moving quickly to adopt this service change. It is estimated the removal of TV screens in airplanes will eliminate about 700 kilograms of weight from the aircraft, resulting in fuel savings. Additional costs associated with installing and servicing the TVs is also eliminated. Canada’s own Westjet Airlines has moved to this alternative option as it introduces its non-stop flights to London’s Gatwick Airport this spring from six Canadian cities, including Winnipeg. From an airline perspective this seems a logical move. More than 80 per cent of passengers carry some sort of smartphone or tablet device on board. For those who have not moved into the digital age, Westjet and other airlines plan to offer rental units.
Thanks to the increased use of iPads and smartphones, airlines are making the move away from fixed TV screens,
instead offering apps that allow passengers to access movies and TV programs on their personal devices.