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Why No IFE On MD-80s?  
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6432 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3604 times:

I'm wondering, why do airlines refuse to put IFE on MD-80s? Is it impossible to put IFE on an MD-80? We see IFE in other narrowbody aircraft, such as the MD-90, 737NG, 757, A320 series, and occasionally on 737 classics.


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15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3587 times:

Ahhhhh ... who cares?

But, the short answer is that MD-80s are generally used on short-haul flights. MD-80 flights rarely exceed 3 hours. Most people (at least those over the age of 12) can get by for that long by entertaining themselves.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6432 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3581 times:

Quoting Ssides (Reply 1):
But, the short answer is that MD-80s are generally used on short-haul flights. MD-80 flights rarely exceed 3 hours. Most people (at least those over the age of 12) can get by for that long by entertaining themselves.

Um, so are 737s and A320s.



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User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3563 times:

I think that it comes down to $$

Look at AA, barely keeping their head above water, they aren't going to spend the $$ on IFE when they're filling planes without it. I doubt they ever even considered it when they were receiving them. Also it adds weight, so it it may not be feasible. Really, domestically, IFE is no big deal, at least to me.

Just avoid the DC-9-80 at all costs. That's what I do.



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User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3562 times:

Quoting Ssides (Reply 1):

But, the short answer is that MD-80s are generally used on short-haul flights. MD-80 flights rarely exceed 3 hours. Most people (at least those over the age of 12) can get by for that long by entertaining themselves.

ask AA about that..as they enjoy flying their Mad Dogs from SJC/SFO-ORD-SCJ/ORD of which the ORD-SJC/SFO leg is north of four hours..

that being said, I prefer no IFE and more room and cheaper air fares.....I prefer brining my own laptop and AA is the carrier with the most powerports....hence they getting my business  dollarsign 



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User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3537 times:
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Iberia have a full audio-visual IFE system on their MD-87s, although the drow-down screens are tiny!

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Never heard of any other airline offering IFE on their MD-81/82/83/87/88 aircraft, but it was offered my MD (at least from the late 1980s) so there maybe a few other MD-80s out there with IFE installed...

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5109 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3522 times:

Way to go Iberia.. i always wondered why IFE wasn't installed on more MD-80's. I have been on flights up to 4.5 hours on MD-83's, pretty long and boring if you ask me...


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User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3077 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3508 times:

Quoting Ssides (Reply 1):
But, the short answer is that MD-80s are generally used on short-haul flights. MD-80 flights rarely exceed 3 hours. Most people (at least those over the age of 12) can get by for that long by entertaining themselves.

I sure wish that was the case, considering that AS and AA both put M80's on the SEA-DFW route, which is over 1600 miles. Does AS at least offer the digiplayers on that route?


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9489 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3481 times:

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 3):
Really, domestically, IFE is no big deal, at least to me.

jetBlue does not agree with you. They went through drastic expense to get IFE on their planes, and it is a huge selling point. But AA would be unlikely to go that far anyway. MD80s would only be offered with overhead screens, which are questionable. NW feels they don't bring in revenue, but UA on the other hand disagrees by offering free (including use of free headsets) IFE. In general I think it makes sense to equip all new non regional planes with at least overhead screens as it isn't that much more expensive of an option on a brand new plane. But refitting a plane is too costly unless you find a cheap solution like portable DigE players like AS.

PTVs are a marketing point, and if an airline had the capital to install them on their entire fleet like Song, jetBlue or Frontier, then yes IFE does bring in extra revenue. But it is a huge gamble and caters more towards leisure travelers. If you have ever been on a plane with people under the age of 16, then you will notice that IFE makes a huge difference. It quiets the youngsters down!



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User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3412 times:

AA was contemplating putting IFE on their MD-80's prior to 9-11. However with the cash crunch I doubt you will ever see it on their MD-80's.

User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3385 times:

Well, if you have the possibility to come to Sweden, and you fly next time with NORDIC REGIONAL, you will get offered for rent on their MD-80flights for low budget a Dig E player! I think it was 20kro. - a great idea and you have a wide choice of movies from the library...  cool 

User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3383 times:

It begs the question, why should anyone retrofit an old aircraft with IFE? Will it make people pay more? Will it cut costs? Will it make you distinctive from the competition? Will it increase safety? No. No. No. And no. If you are barely scraping by, IFE is a comfort item. Most US carriers are simply not in a position to undertake a massive and wholly unnencessary retrofitting project. If people would pay more for the tickets.....


Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3343 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 11):

that's right! Anyone remember LEGEND?  crying  They flew with, well say not very young DC-9, but all were equipped with FANTASTIC IFE...



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User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 625 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3258 times:

I guess that the MD-80 was designed in an era when IFE was NOT the standard for narrowbody aircraft.

But as the aircraft became more popular, carriers began to use it on some very long sectors. ALM and BWIA have operated the MD-80 on long, overwater flights between North America and the Carribean. Alaska Airlines uses the MD-80 on lengthy flights from the West Coast to southern Mexico. American and Delta use the MD-80 on quite long "midcon" routes. Continental also formerly used the MD-80 on Newark and Houston "midcon" flights.

The absolute longest scheduled flight was (I believe) Copenhagen-Tel Aviv on SAS. That would have been a very long flight with no movies. And that was before laptops had DVD players.

But the MD-80 operations by American and Delta predated widespread use of IFE-equipped A320's and 757's (after all, the first US A320 operator, Northwest, does not have IFE on its A320's.) The MD-80 just not caught up with the times.


User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

"Just avoid the DC-9-80 at all costs. That's what I do."

The AA and DL MD-80s are alright. AA being better because of the adjustable headrests and powerports. But both carriers have new overhead bins and seat covers which please a lot of people...me for instance. They're relatively quiet aircraft if your sitting up front. What I recommend is avoiding the BACK of the MD-80 at all costs.

BTW: why does AA use the MD-80 on the ORD- west coast flights?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5167 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3134 times:

First, AA uses MD-80s on ORD-West Coast, because the 737s were moved to MIA.

According to a friend of mine who is a pilot with AA, this question was asked, when the MD-80s received their new interiors in 1998 and 1999.

Supposedly, the monitors would be a major problem, because the cabin ceiling on the MD-80s is lower than the Boeing narrowbodies. Simply put, a lot of people would hit their heads.

As for the idea of simply installing stereo, there are two problems. First, the equipment would add weight that would be better used for cargo or fuel. Second, the MD-80s weren't ordered to be IFE capable, so installing IFE would mean adding a lot of wiring. The MD-80s were ordered to fly short-to-medium haul, like the 727s.

Since the 737s and 757s were ordered with long-hauls in mind, Boeing installed IFE.

My gripe is that AA apparently felt that the PEDs (personal entertainment devices) weren't going to generate sufficient revenue, so they were dropped after the trial. I personally would pay for IFE, rather than meal service.

So, when I fly to the West Coast, I wind up having to bring a lot of extra reading material, since I don't own a laptop.


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