Qantas replaces in-flight entertainment with iPads

Qantas will be the first airline to completely replace their inflight entertainment system with iPads. Passengers will have the capability of accessing Qantas’ own entertainment system, QStreaming, through their iPads and will also have inflight wifi to check emails and surf the web.

Having flown Qantas many, many times, I’m constantly unimpressed with their entertainment system. Multiple times I’ve had the system crash and they have had to reset it. One time, they reset it and the entire system crashed for everyone on the plane. It was the most ridiculous thing, and something I’ve never experienced on Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines…not even Brunei Airlines.

So it will be nice to see Qantas finally stepping up to the plate and giving a better inflight entertainment experience for their customers. Unfortunately for me, I usually fly international and the system is currently being introduced to their domestic flights only, on their B767 aeroplanes.

The system change is not only beneficial in terms of staying competitive with Virgin, but it also saves on costs. The usual entertainment system in every chair weighs a whopping total of 2000kg. Replacing this with 375 of the new iPads (the max passengers on a B767) will be only 244kg. Aeronautically, that weight difference will result in a fairly minimal fuel saving, but in a world where airlines are competing in price for every dollar, every tiny bit counts.

Regardless of the cost savings it would simply be a more awesome system. I last flew Qantas from Melbourne to Hong Kong and my system wasn’t working. Fortunately, I had my iPad, something I wanted to edit and a few movies loaded up so I was sweet the whole way. And it was way better than watching their useless entertainment system.

I’d just like to know how they’re going to distribute them – can’t imagine the Qantas stewards and stewardesses will be carrying a bag of them down the aisle the way they do with the headphones. Maybe in one of the food trolley type things? Either way, I’m all for this change! What do you guys think?