Cathay mulls removal of seat back TVs

Reply

Old Jun 14, 12, 4:42 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Programs: OW Sapphire - CX MPC Gold, *A GOLD Turkish, IHG Platinum, Hilton Gold, Marriot/SPG Gold, BW Diamond
Posts: 248
Cathay mulls removal of seat back TVs

What are they thinking? removing or axing IFE is a bit awkward unless they want to move from a full service airline -> LCC.
I own a pad and yet i don't bother to take it out since its too much hassle unless there's nothing i can watch or enjoy in their programs.

What do you guys think?

Full Report below:

Cathay mulls removal of seat back TVs
Published: 14/06/2012 - Filed under: News »
In a move which would greatly improve fuel efficiency, Cathay Pacific is considering the removal of seatback inflight
entertainment systems from its entire fleet.
John Slosar, CEO of the Hong Kong-based airline told HK Finance that “Given the popularity of tablet PCs,
passengers no longer need some of the onboard entertainment facilities, like for example, the seat back personal
TV screens [PTVs].”
Cathay Pacific says that removing the PTVs would save between one and two tons of weight per plane so the fuel
savings are likely to be significant.
However, says Slosar stresses that “it remains an idea at the present time. The carrier would wait for another five
or six years before tablet PCs became more popular with the travelling public at large before taking action.”
Instead of PTVs, Cathay would provide at seat power sockets so passengers could plug in the device of their choice.
Because all airlines are anxious to cut their fuel bills, Cathay’s move may well be adopted by other carriers in years
to come. Much depends on the future cost of aviation fuel which, of course, nobody can predict with any accuracy.
Malaysian budget carrier Air Asia X set the ball rolling a couple of years ago when it axed inflight entertainment from
its entire long-haul fleet. It means that unless passengers bring along their own entertainment they must rent
portable devices from the cabin crew. And there are only a limited number of these stocked for hire on each flight.
At the time, the budget carrier’s consultant Tim Claydon explained to businesstraveller.com that “In years to come
we feel there will be an increase in customers bringing their own entertainment devices on board.”
Added Air Asia X’s CEO Azran Osman Rani, “We’ve decided to move away from IFE screens on the seat backs.
Demand simply isn’t there to cover the massive cost of the system, the Hollywood content and the extra weight and
complexity of the wiring.”
A further consideration is the fact that as passengers become more sophisticated they are less likely to be
entertained by a typical airline’s bland offerings.
Visit cathaypacific.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter


source: BT http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...-seat-back-tvs
b950022 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 4:49 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: Flying Blue, easyJet Plus (!)
Posts: 1,762
I think this will be a good idea in about 5 years' time.

Either reduced fares or increased legroom would be a nice substitute.

Neil
pacer142 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 6:13 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ZOA, SFO, HKG
Programs: UA 1K 0.8MM, Marriott PLT, HHonors Gold, Hertz PC, SBux Gold, TSA Pre✓
Posts: 9,147
It may not be a bad idea at all.

If you really compare the weight of 360 iPad and the weight of all IFE/AVOD related equipments onboard, you will be thinking about the same thing.
garykung is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 6:55 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: Flying Blue, easyJet Plus (!)
Posts: 1,762
If you really compare the weight of 360 iPad and the weight of all IFE/AVOD related equipments onboard, you will be thinking about the same thing.
And the laptops/iPads will be there whether you have PTV or not.

PTV is like on-train audio sockets (which Virgin Trains removed to use the equipment for on-board wifi, which will itself become redundant in time as high speed mobile coverage becomes ubiquitous) or payphones. They were relevant in their time, but aren't any more.

Removing all that wiring will also have a positive safety benefit for the aircraft. Less wiring = less risk of fire (at least one major crash was caused by malfunctioning passenger entertainment equipment). Yes, lithium batteries in the devices are a risk, but people will be carrying those anyway to use at their destination, whether you have PTVs or not. And the things never seem to work properly anyway.

Just give me a comfortable seat with reasonable legroom at a good price. I'll bring the rest with me.

Neil
pacer142 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 8:00 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: HK
Programs: QF Emerald. CX Nobody
Posts: 2,555
makes sense economically, maybe not now but in 5 years. Afterall 5 years ago Smartphone/Wifi mobile internet was very uncommon to say the least, which, has become the norm. thinking creatively, maybe the inflight WIFI will be inflight entertainment alternative, such that pax can choose to have on demand movie/music etc from the Wifi database. Such that CX can save significant cost by eliminating the hardware but continue to offer the software via Wifi (no weight).
fakecd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 10:07 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX Gold (OW Sapphire), former SQ Krisflyer Gold
Posts: 2,365
This is one of the most absurd ideas I have heard in a long time. I will stop flying Cathay if I am expected to bring my own entertainment on flights. Honestly, they expect that before I fly I will pre load my (as yet non-existent) tablet with 10 hours of movies for my long haul flight?

While they're at it, why not stop serving meals as well? All those ovens are heavy too. Everyone can just bring a thermos and serve themselves a hot meal of their liking.

And let's not kid ourselves. Even if the bean counters do score this pathetic victory, airfares won't drop by a cent.
midlevels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 10:10 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: YYJ
Posts: 1,997
I see a business opportunity arising for gate to gate tablet rentals.
BenSenise is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 10:15 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX Gold (OW Sapphire), former SQ Krisflyer Gold
Posts: 2,365
Originally Posted by BenSenise View Post
I see a business opportunity arising for gate to gate tablet rentals.
Yes, I'm sure that Cathay would be pleased to compensate us for the removal of PTVs by offering us not-so-reasonably priced IFE tablet rentals.
midlevels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 11:50 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Programs: CX MPO SL
Posts: 54
I think this is a dumb idea from a customer service standpoint. While tablets and mobile devices are growing in popularity - especially in wealthy countries and among the younger crowd, there's also a significant number of people who are either not tech savvy, can't afford one, or simply don't need one. You have pax from all walks of life and various cultural backgrounds on international flights. It's presumptuous, insensitive and frankly, a bit discriminatory to assume pax will have their own tablets to access IFE via wifi (or worse, their own pre-loaded movies/shows). Tablets are luxury goods, no matter how you look at it.

Of course, I understand personalized IFE is a perk, and not a mandatory part of the service agreement that comes with the plane ticket. CX does not have a legal responsibility to provide personalized IFE. Just saying if CX wishes to maintain its sterling reputation in customer service and as a provider of premium products, taking away personalized IFE (or IFE in general) will be a very bad idea.
Zodiac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 12:01 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: LHR, HKG, SYD
Posts: 139
I wonder how much it costs an airline to license their movies. I have not been to a movie theatre (unless someone else was paying) in 8 years, but I have watched almost everything I wanted to in the air. If passengers are expected to bring their own entertainment it means they also need to buy the content and load it. If that is the case I will be bringing books only, which means my light will stay on for most of the flight.

Another point is, what if I want to watch the moving map? And are they going to start acting out the safety demonstrations live again?
zerogx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 12:27 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Programs: CX MPO SL
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by zerogx View Post
Another point is, what if I want to watch the moving map? And are they going to start acting out the safety demonstrations live again?
is it just me, or does it look like the whole flying experience is slowly regressing to how things used to be in the 80's and 90's?

- no personal IFE (instead, big screen at the front of cabin); FAs acting out safety demos.

- removal of first class from a number of routes. J/Y+/Y configuration is just like the F/J/Y configuration of the old days.

- last but not least, prices.....

although in-flight smoking probably won't see a comeback.
Zodiac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 6:29 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by midlevels View Post
This is one of the most absurd ideas I have heard in a long time. I will stop flying Cathay if I am expected to bring my own entertainment on flights. Honestly, they expect that before I fly I will pre load my (as yet non-existent) tablet with 10 hours of movies for my long haul flight?

While they're at it, why not stop serving meals as well? All those ovens are heavy too. Everyone can just bring a thermos and serve themselves a hot meal of their liking.

And let's not kid ourselves. Even if the bean counters do score this pathetic victory, airfares won't drop by a cent.
Evernyone lighten yourself and go to the loo will be a pre-boarding requirements in future flights will help too.
travelbug38 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 6:33 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by zerogx View Post
I wonder how much it costs an airline to license their movies. I have not been to a movie theatre (unless someone else was paying) in 8 years, but I have watched almost everything I wanted to in the air. If passengers are expected to bring their own entertainment it means they also need to buy the content and load it. If that is the case I will be bringing books only, which means my light will stay on for most of the flight.

Another point is, what if I want to watch the moving map? And are they going to start acting out the safety demonstrations live again?
They will direct you to watch on your tablets/laptops using Wi-Fi connected to their on board servers/satellites. Who knows the advacements then.
travelbug38 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 9:03 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 845
Maybe shorthaul Y will be seeing that go bye-bye. But that can't be true for F and J
GE90-115B is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 14, 12, 9:36 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX Diamond, BA Gold, *A Silver
Posts: 281
Originally Posted by Zodiac View Post
I think this is a dumb idea from a customer service standpoint. While tablets and mobile devices are growing in popularity - especially in wealthy countries and among the younger crowd, there's also a significant number of people who are either not tech savvy, can't afford one, or simply don't need one. You have pax from all walks of life and various cultural backgrounds on international flights. It's presumptuous, insensitive and frankly, a bit discriminatory to assume pax will have their own tablets to access IFE via wifi (or worse, their own pre-loaded movies/shows). Tablets are luxury goods, no matter how you look at it.

Of course, I understand personalized IFE is a perk, and not a mandatory part of the service agreement that comes with the plane ticket. CX does not have a legal responsibility to provide personalized IFE. Just saying if CX wishes to maintain its sterling reputation in customer service and as a provider of premium products, taking away personalized IFE (or IFE in general) will be a very bad idea.


Couldn't agree more. I know everyone's different, some read, some sleep, some watch their iPad and some of us watch the IFE when we're awake. Now if it's BA or JAL we're talking about, my choices of anything I want to watch are honestly very limited. But if it's Emirates, Singapore or Cathay, IFE is in my view excellent, both in terms of content choice and now - with occasional glitches - with the hardware. I have an iPad but I don't load too many things on it (technical incompetence and lack of choice) and when I travel I bring a laptop rather than an iPad with me because it's just easier for me to work on a laptop. But the number of films that I've watched on Cathay without having any idea whether I'd like them or not (and certainly wouldn't have gone to the cinema to see them or buy them on a DVD or online) and the number of TV series that I've started watching on a flight and then got off the plane and bought so I could see the rest of the series is huge. In many cases these are TV series that I would never have come across in daily life (ranging from Homeland to The Bridge to Spiral) so would never have thought to load onto my own device - particularly given that iTunes in Hong Kong seems to specialise in games rather than movies and TV programmes so making it difficult in any event. For me, the IFE is a positive part of the whole experience rather than just a way of filling in the hours on a long flight.

That said, if Cathay happened to hand out a device preloaded with everything that they would have had in the IFE system, that would also work fine (except that when AA do it on their business and first class flights it's just another thing to have sitting around the seat rather than attached to the aircraft).

Actually I believe there is (or was) one Japanese airline that requested passengers to go to the loo before boarding to reduce weight. Not entirely sure this is the first class experience that premium passengers are looking for :-)

I have a feeling that this idea of removing IFE will be a long time coming if at all as taking away IFE is such a retrograde step and the whole path of airlines in the premium segment has been to deliver more in whatever form they think their customers want and will pay for (hard product, lounges, IFE, meals, service, frequent flyer programmes). I think I remember Cathay, for example, planning long-haul IFE on their short-haul aircraft. Every airline's different in what they perceive their customers value but the general trend seems to me to be to move forward rather than back (although I absolutely agree that we're reverting to a new 3-class system for the majority of flights, but as long as they don't start calling business "First" then corporations will I think take a while to start cutting back on "First" class travel for the masses of businesspeople on long-haul flights).
Moscowflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: