Innovation That Matters

Airline swaps inbuilt screens for cloud-based entertainment packages

Travel & Tourism

The WestJet Connect system is removing seat-back screens and letting passengers access wifi and inflight entertainment on their own device.

Vast numbers of airline passengers now look to their own tablets, smartphones and laptops for inflight entertainment, rendering seat-back screens somewhat redundant, wasteful of space and resources. We have already seen the TabCaddyClip — a low-cost tablet holder — and as we suggested in that article, the next logical step is swapping inbuilt screens for cloud-based entertainment packages. Now, low-cost Canadian carrier WestJet is doing just that on their new transatlantic service.

WestJet found that more that 80 percent of customers traveling on their low-cost services already brought their own devices. Their new WestJet Connect system, available on board their Boeing 767s from London to Canada, costs approximately half as much as the previous system. The service will enable passengers to plug in their devices to charge and access the Internet and the airline’s onboard entertainment package via Wifi from satellites. Removing the screens also sheds over 1,500lbs from the aircraft, which will lead to fuel savings.

WestJet will provide 450 films and TV programs. Is there scope for entertainment that is exclusive to users who are up in the clouds?




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