Aug 4 2012
Not only are some airlines offering iPads to customers to use as on-board entertainment devices as well as enabling passengers to access the internet where Wi-Fi is available, but some airlines such as British Airways and Iberia are now issuing senior cabin crew staff and customer service agents the devices as a means to better serve passengers flying with the airlines.
Airlines such as Jetstar and Qantas already offer passengers iPads as an alternative entertainment option to their regular in-flight system, while Jetstar charges passengers to rent the pre-loaded devices, Qantas has just announced it is starting to roll out offering iPads for free to all passengers flying on its domestic routes in Australia, regardless of whether passengers are flying economy or business class.
Passengers using Jetstar’s pre-loaded iPads can enjoy choosing from a library of movies, TV shows and music, as well as being able to play games and choose from a selection of e-magazines and e-books available on the devices. Qantas on the other hand is streaming its in-flight entertainment via Wi-Fi to the devices, which includes over 200 hours of TV and audio programmes. In future passengers will also be able to connect to Qantas’s in-flight entertainment system using their own mobile and tablet devices.
Scoot, Singapore Airlines low cost carrier also rents iPads to its economy class passengers and they are free to business class passengers. A key driver to Scoot offering iPads for in-flight entertainment services is not just down to their superiority, but it was also led by the huge savings it achieved in fuel consumption through weight reduction. Ripping out its aircraft’s old entertainment system reduced the weight of each of its aircraft by a whopping two tons. Flying their aircraft with less weight means significant savings in fuel, especially considering fuel prices have increased by roughly 36% during the last couple of years.
Other forward thinking airlines such as British Airways and Iberia are using iPads to help staff provide better levels of customer service and make the customer experience more personal. For instance senior cabin crew have their own iPads where they can access passenger data such as meal requests, previous travel information, frequent flyer membership details and any onward travel plans. In addition, staff can also access timetables, safety manuals, customer service updates and destination guides, which are all pre-loaded and updated prior to every departure.
Whether you’re a lover of Apple or not, there’s no denying how good iPads are and the possibilities and uses of these amazing devices in the future are only going to get bigger and better.