764
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United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:35 pm

According to a recent UA press release, the airline will introduce a new IFE system that will be "free during the promotional period". That clearly implies that they will charge for it afterwards, doesn't it?
 
Simpilicity
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:40 pm

not so many years ago, on US doemstic services UA used to charge USD$3 I think it was, for the hire of plastic tube which ran from headset to where it plugged in on the armrest.
 
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LTU932
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:44 pm

Is this just for domestic flights or also international? There's nothing being said about that in the press release.
 
wdleiser
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:56 pm

For some reason I thought many airlines charged for headphones... or atleast some do.
 
ETStar
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:04 pm

Quoting Wdleiser (Reply 3):
For some reason I thought many airlines charged for headphones... or atleast some do.

Some may still. The last CO flight I took gave them free if you checked in online and printed out a coupon.

Also, is it just me or do you folks also cringe at the sight of those disposable earphones they give out these days, where they encourage you to keep and use them on future flights (AC, CO do this). All of those headphones I have taken, I have never reused. The AC FAs claim that it is just thrown out and not reused if pax leave it onboard... poor ol' landfill in Taiwan.
 
blueflyer
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:08 pm

Quoting Wdleiser (Reply 3):
For some reason I thought many airlines charged for headphones

They do, but at the same time, they come up with some gimmick to give one to you free anyhow. On my last CO flight, I got an email a few days before departure offering me a free headset (regular cost $5 I think) if I checked in online rather than at the airport... I did check in online but kept my Sennheiser with me.

Quoting 764 (Thread starter):
That clearly implies that they will charge for it afterwards, doesn't it?

Well, it is XM Radio. Maybe United is betting that enough people will be willing to pay for it. I for one might, but only if the sound quality is worth it.
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aloha73g
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:08 pm

I get the impression that unlike jetBlue and Air Tran, United's XM won't be live. Instead it sound sliek they will just be using pre-recorded audio provided by XM. An improvement but not a HUGE deal if you ask me.

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FA4UA
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:27 pm

I think you misinterpreted "promotional" in this instance. XM is promoting thier product on our aircraft. At present it's pre-taped music showcasing thier most popular channels. There are RUMORS that eventually XM might take over our onboard programming permanently although nothing has been said thus far. There has been no word of charging for music entertainment at this point.

United was actually one of the first carriers in the United States to provide free entertainment on our entire network starting in 2000.

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apodino
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:34 pm

All I have to say is they better not start charging for channel 9.
 
roseflyer
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:24 am

I hope that the free IFE on united flights doesn't go away. It is nice for there to be a headset in the seatpocket if you don't happen to have one with you. Continental makes you buy a headset on board if you don't have one although they give out coupons. Other airlines make you rent them, and still others (cough Northwest cough) have no domestic IFE whatsoever.

United still has a truly free IFE. I noticed the XM music on my flights last Sunday, and it was a huge improvement over the stuff that no one wanted to listen to on old flights since they were only playing music that they got for next to nothing. I look forward to seeing a full line of XM products on board.

I presume however that XM won't take over video programming and that it will still be NBC. I have heard that NBC pays to showcase its short subject programming that features its own primetime programming and is one huge advertisement.
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dc10rules
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting Apodino (Reply 8):
All I have to say is they better not start charging for channel 9.

I'd pay an extra 5 or 10 bucks (on top of the ticket price or to the FA) for a version of channel 9 on WN, DL, etc.
I have a feeling many other a.nutters would as well!

Fly safe!
 
TGV
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:02 am

Quoting Blueflyer (Reply 5):
They do, but at the same time, they come up with some gimmick to give one to you free anyhow.

On AF long haul in Y, the headphones are in a small pouch they give you with eye shades, earplugs and a refreshing tissue.
And these headphones are very smart: they can be modified after the flight, by removing two parts (there is a leaflet indicating how to do it) to became headphones that can be used with anything with a small jack connection, like a MP3 player or a computer.

Furthermore, if you keep them in their plane condition, and connect them to the microphone and sound jacks of a laptop (the spacing of the two holes is adequate, on my laptop at least) you can use them as a mike/earphone.
But of course be prepared to receive some strange looks from you neighbours, as you are in fact speaking with enthusiasm in an earphone! Big grin
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
 
flybynight
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:55 pm

One of UA's differentiators that they are proud of would be the free headphones. Personally I think this is great. One of the reasons I love to fly UA is the free headphones and listening to ch 9 (from the cockpit).
Heia Norge!
 
hiflyer
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:23 pm

This is what I read

"Now for a promotional period, customers traveling on United will be able to listen to as many as 19 music channels provided by XM for United, giving customers a taste of XM's exclusive, commercial-free music channels."

Nothing about upcoming charges...just that the XM music is promotional.
 
sstsomeday
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:00 pm

Quoting 764 (Thread starter):
According to a recent UA press release, the airline will introduce a new IFE system that will be "free during the promotional period". That clearly implies that they will charge for it afterwards, doesn't it?

Maybe this is inevitable. Airlines (especially North American ones) are desperate to find more non-ticket revenue.

I bought a ticket on ACs website a few years ago (LAX/YYZ/YOW probably,) and once I had paid the non-refundable fee, ONLY THEN did a window appear offering me seat selection for $7.50 or $15.00 per leg. I was shocked. I don't know how long that lasted, I bet there was quite a customer backlash. It was the lowest of the low.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 9):
and still others (cough Northwest cough) have no domestic IFE whatsoever.

Yeah what's up with that? All those dark T.V. screens on the ceilings of their 757s, for example. It's been like that for years.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 9):
presume however that XM won't take over video programming and that it will still be NBC. I have heard that NBC pays to showcase its short subject programming that features its own primetime programming and is one huge advertisement.

I hope this continues to be the case, rather than fork over yet more money after paying for my extra baggage weight, for changing my flight to an earlier one on the same day, for my meal... GEESH - I miss service (am I whining?).

Although I resent having to watch advertising on a plane (or in a movie theater) when I have paid for a ticket...

MAN I'm cranky today.
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777fan
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:26 pm

Quoting Apodino (Reply 8):
All I have to say is they better not start charging for channel 9.

Of more concern to me is that they'd actually get rid of Channel 9 as part of the convert over to XM. Anyone have any insight on this possibility?!
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legacytravel
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:20 am

I hope the IFE does not switch to a pay per flight type of system.
Aside from the awesome and professional staff at UA. (F/A's you are appreciated by this Agency Owner)
It is very easy to book clients on UA when I tell them about the free IFE and the Channel 9. I have a client that lives an hour north of MKE and will be driving to ORD mainly because they want to have a experience like this.
Glad to see UA back and flying high out of Chapter 7. I will see you in 5 weeks ORD to LAS just for the free IFE also.
Regards,
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FriendlySkies
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:15 am

The promotional period is probably UA testing market response to the new product, before they go and install full systems in their planes ($$$). I can't see them charging for the service, as some have said, they are proud of being the only US carrier to offer free IFE on ALL mainline flights.
 
roseflyer
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:28 am

This is a huge advertisment for XM. People will listen for hours at a time to an XM station without commercials and likely realize that they do like XM music and buy the service.

I can't imagine XM wanting to lose so many captive people if they were to make people pay. This service totally should be free. It would make the investment worth it. Honestly this is a win win relationship for United and XM. UA gets quality IFE and XM can have a captive audience to show that its product can be better than ipods or MP3 players.
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AADC10
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 am

Some have reported hearing XM music instead of the cockpit on Ch. 9 but it may have just been the pilot's choice. Has anyone seen the new channel lineup in the March Hemisphere's magazine?
 
roseflyer
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:58 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 19):
Has anyone seen the new channel lineup in the March Hemisphere's magazine?

I flew UA on Sunday and heard the new XM music, however the channel lineup in the March Hemisphere's magazine showed the old programming that no one would ever want to listen to (ok that is a bit of an exaggeration). There was no reference to XM Satellite radio that I could find. However it is just recorded popular stations.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 19):
Some have reported hearing XM music instead of the cockpit on Ch. 9 but it may have just been the pilot's choice.

That would be pilot's choice not to have channel 9 from the cockpit activated. On both of my flights, channel 9 was tower communications. Channel 9 was always replaced by other programming in years past as well.
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don81603
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:54 pm

I've been searching high and low for a firm answer, but to no avail regarding UA's IFE from SFO to SYD. What exactly can I expect? Do they have PTV's, or is it the "old" style, where everyone watches the same movie?
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roseflyer
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:14 pm

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 21):
I've been searching high and low for a firm answer, but to no avail regarding UA's IFE from SFO to SYD. What exactly can I expect?

SFO to SYD is operated with 747s. United 747s have no PTVs in economy. So you will only be able to watch the main screen movie. There is however audio in every seat and channel 9 is available (subject to pilot discretion).
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
adriaticus
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:20 am

Quoting Blueflyer (Reply 5):
Well, it is XM Radio. Maybe United is betting that enough people will be willing to pay for it. I for one might, but only if the sound quality is worth it.

In the end, sound quality depends mostly on your earphones. If you don't have noise-reduction type, such as Sennheiser or Bose, quality of sound will be pretty much alike tuning in on XM or the pre-recorded in-flight announcements.

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jmy007
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:28 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 20):

I flew UA on Sunday and heard the new XM music, however the channel lineup in the March Hemisphere's magazine showed the old programming that no one would ever want to listen to (ok that is a bit of an exaggeration). There was no reference to XM Satellite radio that I could find. However it is just recorded popular stations.

If the Hemisphere that you refere to has the cover "three perfect days in Nagoya" (Pink and red colors)
Then the XM list IS in there. I have th copy at home, the listing is at the end of the entertaiment section.
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roseflyer
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:51 am

Quoting Jmy007 (Reply 24):
If the Hemisphere that you refere to has the cover "three perfect days in Nagoya" (Pink and red colors)
Then the XM list IS in there. I have th copy at home, the listing is at the end of the entertaiment section.

That flight was over two weeks ago, so I have no idea what the cover was, but it was the March Issue.

It is possible that the XM programming was listed after the old programming, but I didn't see it. I certainly saw the old programming list however. Maybe they were both in there. United didn't seem to be advertising any affiliation with XM however.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
PanAm747
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:09 am

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1070,00.html

There is the listing of all of UA's inflight entertainment, including a blurb about the new XM satellite radio.

One of the reasons I like UA so much is not just for the FREE entertainment, but for the fact that the choices are so good. If it comes down to it and I have to pay, so be it - but I hope that UA will not abandon its excellent entertainment choices!!  pray 
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jmy007
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:22 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 25):
That flight was over two weeks ago, so I have no idea what the cover was, but it was the March Issue.

It is possible that the XM programming was listed after the old programming, but I didn't see it. I certainly saw the old programming list however. Maybe they were both in there. United didn't seem to be advertising any affiliation with XM however.



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 26):
There is the listing of all of UA's inflight entertainment, including a blurb about the new XM satellite radio

In this months issue, the XM lisiting is in the back end of the entertaiment section (more that a blurb). It list all the channels, plus CH9. Though they still had the other entertaiment line up.
But it is hard to find, unless you are looking!
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SuseJ772
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:57 am

I have to say, I wouldn't mind paying for IFE if they were personal VOD units. I flew on a Jetstar flight from CNS to MEL about a month ago, and they offered these units. They were great. I would totally pay $5 or $10 more than the ticket price to watch these guys. They had plenty of movies and tv shows.

I think this is really the solution to the IFE discussion becuase everybody wins. Airlines can generate revenue to those willing to pay. If valued enough, passangers would be glad to pay that for cheap entertainment. They don't weigh all that much, so you don't have that much added weight (current complaint of PVOD installs), and if they break, you throw it away and replace the unit so there is no maitence cost (another complaint of the PVOD systems). If they could just figure out a way to get the update GPS map on there, they'd be perfect. I don't know why more US airlines aren't looking into this.
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
halls120
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:43 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 9):
United still has a truly free IFE. I noticed the XM music on my flights last Sunday, and it was a huge improvement over the stuff that no one wanted to listen to on old flights since they were only playing music that they got for next to nothing. I look forward to seeing a full line of XM products on board.

I just got back from two weeks of flying on UA internationally - and the XM programming is indeed a big improvement over what they offered before. Even is it isn't live.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 19):
Some have reported hearing XM music instead of the cockpit on Ch. 9 but it may have just been the pilot's choice. Has anyone seen the new channel lineup in the March Hemisphere's magazine?

Nothing has changed. On four UA flights in March, 3 of them featured live Ch 9. Only on one did the pilot shut it off, and it is still advertised in Hemispheres.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
JC5280
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RE: United To Charge For IFE?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:57 am

Where did you quote the "free during the promotional period" from? I do not see that anywhere in the PR. I would recommend quoting properly before posting here. Just my $0.02....

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