Smaller and smaller planes are travelling further and further every day. It used to be that every flight over the ocean had two aisles and at least 3 engines. These days, you’ll find single aisle aircraft going across the oceans regularly. Unfortunately, inflight entertainment has not kept pace.
On most widebodies, it’s standard practice to have a personal screen at each seat. Sometimes movies are shown on a loop, but increasingly often it’s a full on demand system. Even though narrowbodies, like the 757, have started flying more overwater routes, airlines have been very hesitant to install these systems.
Sure JetBlue has personal television and so do some others, but most don’t. Continental has the most 757 flights overwater, and they still have drop down screens in coach (for now). High class airlines like Eos (which flies between London and New York) simply hand out DVD players at each seat. Until now, I can’t think of a single 737 that has had personal screens installed despite it being the most popular jet aircraft ordered flying increasingly long distances . . . such as from California to Hawai’i and even from Panama to Brazil.
So, it was with some surprise (and a little relief) this morning that I saw Boeing announced it had installed its first in-seat video system on a 737. This one, for Jet Airways in India, has 7 inch screens with full on demand services in coach.
Let’s hope other airlines follow.