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?


4 Responses to Qantas replaces in-flight entertainment with iPads

  1. I wonder how many will still be un-jailbroken at the end of the first month & if they are jailbroken then whatever content filtering will most likely be circumvented. They would have done better upgrading the existing system because that can be used for both domestic and international flights where as the iPads will work domestically but not internationally. The reason why they will not work internationally is because they would need to be charged during the flight and would most likely be required to meet electrical safety standards that all electronic components on planes need.

  2. Qantas, the airline i grew up with, we've gotta beat those others, go for it, i'll plug into Qantas anytime so long as i can have a wifi connection xx

  3. Same thing happens to me almost every time I fly with Quantas. The Entertainment system stops working correctly, and when I ask for help they do a reset which does not fix the problem. Fix It Quantas

  4. I personally never flown Quantas Airlines but i think this is a great Idea. Now as the jailbroken IPads are concerned, I feel it will not be an issue because you still need a Laptop to do it and for a few hour flight? it's not worth it.. Also as per the restrictions they will apply that to the wireless network so even if u jailbroke it, all you can really do is download cracked apps i guess because the proxy on the wireless will block you from going to inappropriate sites. Yes I know there are ways around it but an average person is not educated on this.

    Distribution can be easily done by a trolley cart. IPads are pretty durable for the most part to handle being stored in a trolley cart. I also think that the reason its not on international flights at the moment is because this is a test run. You never go all out on a test run because if this idea fails then they are out more money. If they keep it domestic and see if it catches on, then they will probably move it to all their flights, Local and International. I don't think they have to worry about safety standards or electrical due to the fact that they are already using it on domestic flights. if there is a problem or a safety issue then they probably wont be on any flight. Also as per charging most IPads supposebly have a 10 – 15 hour battery life. They take roughly and hour to 2 hours to charge. So its possible to be done while boarding. ( i have waited close to 3 hours in Newark International before we took off).

    Overall i think this is a good concept and the people who are working on this should have and idea of some of the flaws and are working on it.

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