United Airlines is rolling out a new feature for its first-class and business customers. iPhone and iPod users will be able to view their own personalized entertainment when flying internationally.
With my first international flight I traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland. I wish I had the freedom to choose what I wanted. The selections that the airline offered were limited. I’m glad I brought along books to keep me occupied. My last international trip to Stockholm, Sweden I watched the airline choice, Mr. Bean. Although parts of it were entertaining if I could have chosen my entertainment that would not have been on the top of my list.
“Our guests may now watch or listen to what they want, when they want with programming they choose,” says Graham Atkinson, United Airlines – executive vice president and Chief Customer Officer. “United will continue to provide services and technology that makes our customers’ travel experiences more relaxed and enjoyable.”
The first United Airlines flight to offer this feature was flight #936. It left Washington yesterday, June 16, at 5:40 PM and was flying to Zurich. iPod and iPhone users were able to charge their devices through a 30-pin connector at their seats. This enabled them to view their personalized r entertainment on 15.4-inch personal TVs. United Airlines is planning on equipping their entire fleet of international aircrafts with this feature within two years.
“The iPod and iPhone have become essential for millions of travelers around the world,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing. “We think United customers are going to love being able to listen or watch personal music and video content on their iPod or iPhone via the in-flight entertainment system, and we can’t wait for United to roll this out to their fleet.”
United Airlines is the first US air carrier to offer this service. Singapore Airlines has the distinction of being the first airline to allow its passengers to connect their iPods and iPhones to its in flight entertainment system on select business class flights on its Airbus A340-500 aircraft.
I like the fact that United Airlines gives flyers the freedom to choose the music and video they want. It would be even better if United Airlines offered this feature on cross-country flights. Would it make me switch airline carriers to take advantage of this offer? No, I’m happy with the airline I use for international travel.
What about you? Would having the ability to choose your entertainment in-flight influence your decision when it comes to selecting an airline?