Thursday, February 16, 2017

Airlines Phasing Out Screens Due to Smartphone Use

There is no question that there aren't enough screens on airplanes. You may be lucky to land a seat with a screen on a flight within the states. Internationally they become more common flying with companies like Emirates and Qatar airways. I am here to tell you, the number of screens you're seeing will not increase, it will likely decrease. 

If you're like me, you use your phone before the flight until the last second that the plane is taking off into the air while you're still connected to your carrier. That is the desperation of connection with your personal device. The biggest trouble of being on a plane is that you aren't connected to your phone through your 4G or Wi-Fi. 

Most inflight entertainment comes from handheld devices; smartphones and laptops, which is no mystery to the airlines. Inflight entertainment provided by the airlines is seldom utilized unless its free, but what the passengers are willing to pay for is Wi-Fi. In the world of technology, Wi-Fi is the key to life. Would you rather turn your plane on airplane mode and sit there for X hours twiddling your thumbs, or connect to the inflight Wi-Fi for $7.99 and reengage with the world. Many passengers would and do go with option 2.

Your handheld device offers several options and services that the airlines would never be able to offer for a reasonable price, so "if you can't beat them, join them". Airlines will turn many of their resources to providing entertainment options through your own device. 

For airlines being able to connect with you through your iPhone it not only allows them to provide a much greater array of data, it completely cuts out the maintenance cost of supplying the electronics. 

Planes are so difficult and arduous to build that by the time they come out with new ones, they are already outdated. Providing world class Wi-Fi keeps their customers with the best possible technology, their own.

1 comment:

Matt Lodato said...

I find it very surprising that airlines will start to phase out screens on their airplanes in the future. I would think that with all of the modern advancements in technology, airlines would only try to expand the use of technology through television screens on their airplanes. Before reading this article I always thought that one day it would no longer be a surprise to see screens on a plane, because all airlines would have them. Personally, when I get onto an airplane I always become joyed if I see a screen on the seat in front of me. It makes the flight feel shorter and a whole lot more enjoyable. I believe that most airline passengers have this same feeling, but they are not looking at it from the perspective of the airline. I agree with the point you made about how people nowadays are so attached to their phones that they are on them every change they get, in this case right up until the second the flight attendant tells everyone to turn them off. Personally, I wouldn’t think to pay to use a television screen on an airplane, but I would pay to use a 4G or Wi-Fi network for the same price so that I can access my phone during the flight. Phones today allow people the same enjoyment that airplane screens do plus a ton more. For this reason it would be profitable for airlines to charge a sum of money for their passengers to access Wi-Fi rather than for using the screens because more people will take advantage of it. They will no longer have to spend the large sums of money that they do to implement this technology into the airplanes that is often considered outdated by many passengers. If they can use their phones, tablets, or laptops at their full capacity throughout a flight for entertainment, then why not let them. The last point that I feel is important to touch on this subject, which you briefly mentioned, is that airplanes take a very long time to build, so the technology that is inside them often isn’t up to date. It most definitely is not as up to date and as advanced as the phones and laptops that everyone is so connected to today. For this reason, airlines no longer have the need to supply passengers with their own form of entertainment because everyone has their own devices that are very difficult to beat. With or without screens on airplanes, airlines still have the same goal, to give their passengers the entertainment they want and the best overall experience possible.