Ask Cranky: When Will Continental Airplanes Have LiveTV Installed?

Several months ago, Continental announced a partnership with LiveTV that would bring the company’s next generation entertainment system onboard much of Continental’s narrowbody fleet. But there hasn’t been anything to show for it yet, and one reader came looking for answers. Fortunately, I have some.

I fly Continental cross country to get to and from USC, and when I heard they were going to begin offering LiveTV and wifi I was pretty excited. Have you heard when this service will actually start, versus their January 2009 “trial” date?

For this, I went straight to Continental. The first airplane (a 737-900) has received the system and it’s now going Ask Crankythrough the FAA certification process. Right now, it looks like the first regular flight for passengers will be in mid-March.

After that, they will try to install the system on “more than 10 aircraft each month.” This will go on to all 737-700/800/900 aircraft as well as the 757-300, and the install will be completed by mid 2010.

Once it’s done, only the older 737-300/500 fleets that fly shorter routes will be without in seat video (along with Express aircraft, of course). The 757-200 aircraft are used primarily for international, so while those won’t have television, they do have on-demand video in each seat.

I tried to follow up with Continental to ask whether they would outfit one fleet first or if it would simply be a mix, but they did not respond.

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