I'm flying a bit more these days. Mostly regional flights. Flying gives me the chance to see all types of behavior I'd otherwise never witness. I saw some behavior on a flight last week that really hit home.
The plane for this particular flight had an in-flight entertainment system - screens built into the back of each headrest. The airline planned to show a few sitcom reruns, maybe a little exclusive-to-the-airline soft news, some advertising, the usual fare.
Anyone familiar with in-flight entertainment systems knows that the big bug-a-boo for that industry is in-flight reliability. The manufacturers have been fighting the issue for a decade and have yet to make a statistically significant dent. And sure enough, the system on this flight crashed as soon as we rolled away from the gate.
Now comes the interesting part. The flight crew climbed all over each other to get the system back up...no dice. Then they gushed with apologies almost to the point of embarrassment. But the passengers...well, nobody cared. At 10,000 feet, the tablets and smart phones came out. Work, movies, books, TVs, games, whatever. None of the passengers missed a beat. Wouldn't have been that way as recently as three years ago, but it's that way now.
What did I learn? I learned that the time for in-flight entertainment systems has come and gone. Mobile wins.
If I ran an airline, I'd stop spending for in-flight entertainment and redirect spending at getting on-board wifi on more planes...'cause when it comes to mobile, we've all got it...wifi, we all want it...with both, we all know what to do with it.
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