Another airline is ditching seat-back screens. Etihad has made the decision to do away with seatback screens in its short-haul economy cabins to cut costs. Etihad now plans to offer movies and television shows that can be streamed to personal devices as an alternative.
It makes sense that Etihad would like to cut costs. The carrier has been losing money year after year. A new look for Etihad’s 23 A320 jets will play a role in the airline’s efforts to cut costs. The new look will include slimmer seats with fast-charging USB ports. In addition, there will be an adjustable holder for phone and tablet in each seat.
Seatback screens are proving to be expensive for airlines. Installing and maintaining them is pretty costly. What’s more, they actually add weight to each seat and make each aircraft heavier. That results in higher fuel costs for each journey. Airlines that offer seatback entertainment options need to use Internet satellite. Etihad would apparently like to reduce technology costs on flights by relying on streaming options that allow passengers to watch content directly on their own devices.
When will you have to say your last goodbye to seatback screens on A320 jets as an Etihad passenger?
It has been revealed that all 23 of the airline’s A320 jets will be retrofitted by August of this year. That doesn’t mean that you won’t still see seat-back screens on Etihad flights. Personal seat-back screens are going to remain standard on all seats in the economy cabins of Etihad’s wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
What will the new seats that are being installed on the carrier’s revamped A320 jets be like?
Etihad is claiming that those seats will provide extra comfort and more knee room. However, they will apparently be pretty slim.
Will seat-back screens be missed?
The short-lived love affair that airlines had with seat-back screens is no doubt coming to an end. One of the big issues that airlines are facing in 2019 is the rising cost of fuel. It is surprising that airline executives who gave seat-back screens green lights just a few years ago weren’t able to see the potential problems that those screens could cause once fuel prices inevitably rose again. Airlines seem to be leaving seat-back screens in place when it comes to luxury and business seats. However, most passengers don’t really care about this feature or consider it to be a game-changing perk. Plenty of airline passengers are perfectly happy to stream their favorite shows directly to their phones and tablets like they do the rest of the time.
[Image Source: Etihad]