Ouch...no inflight entertainment...that has got to be a killer.
Personally, I have never seen the allure in shelling out $5 in order to squint at a small, relucent screen several rows away on which some tired B-grade flick is being shown. Let's face it, airplanes are not designed to be movie theatres. I suppose an offering such as JetBlue's DirectTV is somewhat more compelling, but I still don't see the problem in bringing along a paperback novel, or a couple of periodicals.
IFE increases fuel and maintenance costs, and I sincerely doubt revenue from headset rentals would offset these expenses, not to mention the screening cost.
Alaska currently offers First Class passengers complimentary DVDs courtesy of InMotion pictures. They also offer coach passengers a 25% discount on DVD player rentals. With the discount, a one-day rental on a 5'' player (including head-set and one free movie) is $9 (plus sales tax). Practically, the cost is $15 for a one-day rental with "jetback" return service included (IM doesn't have outlets at some of the east coast airports AS
I don't think Alaska has done much to publicize their deal with InMotion. Perhaps AS
could give customers a direct link to InMotion's website when making an online purchase on a long-haul route out of ANC
As far as a DirecTV style product is concerned, I heard that Alaska had plans to install something of this nature on their fleet, but the project was shelved after 9/11 for financial reasons.