On an Air New Zealand flight from London’s Heathrow to LA, I was looking forward to the IFE groove. It’s been some time since I flew long-haul, and what has happened over the past few years is the rise of the PEDs (portable electronic devices). PED is my new favourite TLA (three-letter acronym).
But I was surprised at how few passengers were using their PEDs for entertainment, even on an 11-hour flight. Maybe towards the front of the plane there were MacAirs in abundance, but at the back there were very few customers using their devices.
During the first session at the APEX technology conference, a question from the floor asked whether there was any research available about the extent to which passengers were watching their own videos and bypassing the IFE. The question was addressed to Doug Johnson from the Consumer Electronics Association. He admitted that this specific question has not been addressed in its work.
But Lori Salazar from Thales offered her insight, based on her own observations. “I don’t see the trend for bringing content on board,” she stated.
With so much choice available generally, sometimes it is nice to have one’s choice restricted. On the Air New Zealand flight the content on offer was quite eclectic, and I did manage to find enough viewing to keep me awake for eleven hours – three movies, two of which I hadn’t seen before, familiar episodes of Peep Show and Spaced and a documentary about David Bowie.
But I will be struggling to find anything else on the IFE, if it is the same selection, to keep me entertained on the return leg. It’s a good job my jetlag mitigation regime coming back will revolve around sleep, even in economy.
This article was written by Martin Cowen, newly appointed editor of APEX Editor’s Blog