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1337Delta764
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:36 am

N649DL wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
N649DL wrote:
AA had some bomb-ass AVOD systems on the 738 and A321 domestically. Not sure if they removed all of them in Y, but the interface was really impressive.

I also enjoyed the looped audio on the 738, especially the '80s station on the flip down LCD's on the 738. Not sure if that system exists these days either, but it was always fun to listen to music on takeoff. The overlay of cabin announcements on the LCD's was also convenient as well.

Around 80 of the 738s still have seatback video in all classes, and all but 2 or 3 of the L-AA A321s still have seatback video as well.

A good number of the 738s still have the drop down monitors and overhead IFE system as well. I think the non-Oasis and non-PTV AA 738s are the only aircraft on a US carrier that still feature old-fashioned overhead IFE.


Oh, OK. Thanks for this then. I thought AA were removing AVOD hardcore right now. I haven't flown AA since like 2018. I just remember DL's overhead LCD screens were fading fast before they installed AVOD on some of the 738s and whatnot back in like 2016. AA always kept they in great shape for the cabin and credit card announcements. I know, I'm old school, but for AA to keep overhead screens around: They got creative with programming them (even flipping them down just to announce that the seat belt sign was turned on and arriving at destination) and flipping them up and down frequently during the flight for just the announcements. Makes less work for the F/A's too.

If they want to keep the AVOD system, better late than never. They can start by adding them to the ex-US A321 and A319 for starters (especially now that the 757s and 763s are retired.)


The DL system was an older tape-based system, while the AA system is a digital system installed at a later time. Some of AA's 738s were originally delivered with CRTs over the aisle.
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:39 am

N649DL wrote:
Oh, OK. Thanks for this then. I thought AA were removing AVOD hardcore right now. I haven't flown AA since like 2018. I just remember DL's overhead LCD screens were fading fast before they installed AVOD on some of the 738s and whatnot back in like 2016. AA always kept they in great shape for the cabin and credit card announcements. I know, I'm old school, but for AA to keep overhead screens around: They got creative with programming them (even flipping them down just to announce that the seat belt sign was turned on and arriving at destination) and flipping them up and down frequently during the flight for just the announcements. Makes less work for the F/A's too.

The automated announcements over the IFE has always been an AA thing (and to some aspect US). They even have one should they need to request a doctor/nurse's assistance on board.

The Oasis 738s/321s also have an automated announcement system as well that does boarding/safety/ascent/descent/landing/auto seatbelt announcements.
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747fan
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:10 am

So far, only 1 738 and 1 LAA A321 have had the seatback IFE removed. It should be noted that quite a few non-AVOD 737's and some LUS 321's have gone in for mods since these airplanes got "Oasified" (that A321 came out of mods more recently - probably within the last month or so).
The focus now seems to be on "Oasifying" the LUS A321's.
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:57 am

WN732 wrote:
FlyHappy wrote:
rising wrote:

I never understood how AA taking out PTVs on domestic aircraft makes some think they're turning into the White Star Line, while Southwest does not even offer in-seat power, let alone PTVs. Yet Southwest is for many a customer favorite over AA even without those things.


Because SWA offers other values AA does not - like no change fees, free bags, uncomplicated pricing.
Removing PTV is only one of many things that makes modern AA economy a poor experience, certainly poorer than SWA, on similar routes.

I say this as someone who avoids SWA when possible. But AA even more so.


You're really spot on. AA Basic Economy fares usually match WN or vice versa, which causes you to get more value out of the WN ticket than the AA ticket. In my experience United is also in the same catagory when it comes to Basic Economy. In some cases you'll even get more legroom on WN economy seats than UA and AA.


I live in PHX and AA chased me away to WN a long time ago. The value proposition is just better with WN to the places I want to go. I pay the same price(or less) for WN and I get a free checked bag and I'm usually boarding in the first 50 with my credit card. Whereas, with AA, I'm the lowest form of basic economy life and I'm lucky to get an aisle seat in the back of the plane.

I think IFE is just a symptom of a greater problem that AA has. Customers aren't stupid and they're not going to pay legacy prices for an ULCC product.
 
DDR
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:11 am

I find it funny how lots of people want their seat back entertainment but say hell no to ads on IFE.
 
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XLA2008
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:37 am

AA is it’s own worst enemy. I think removing PTV’s was just another downgrade from the already pretty poor AA product. I almost always would fly AA exclusively, they had a great FF program, good product, good connections, reasonable prices and after bankruptcy the new cabin and product was great... and then it went down hill, inconsistency in the product across the fleet got to the point I would dread what I would end up with, they are not transparent when booking either, they would always show the new business product on the seat map only to end up finding out at checkin that isn’t the case and I’d end up in some tatty old worn out J product when I could have paid the same price with another airline and had better product, I also couldn’t tell you how many meetings I missed because of damn Mesa and AA seemed to do nothing to rectify how terrible Mesa is to them and their reputation. In the end I gave up on AA and will now fly DL, it’s out of my way and less convenient but I know what I’m getting, and the product is good, service is decent as well. Shame really because AA could have been great.

I think PTV’s are the least of AA’s issues and most likely although played a part in loosing customers but for sure isn’t the main reason. Fix the issues with Mesa and their awful on time performance, improve customer service because it’s absolutely awful, bring cabin consistency fleet wide, bring back your old FF program and then start thinking about PTV’s, but there are so many issues going on I think they are focusing in the wrong places.
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Chasensfo
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:58 am

I don't get the issue a lot of you have with this. If you don't want seatback IFE; turn it off. Personally, I would much rather explore the options on the likes of Delta on a seatback screen then have to use my own device/battery and have a smaller screen. I don't own an ipad, I use my phone and prefer airline-provided screens to my phone and to not worry about charging in flight unless I let my phone just sit idle in a seatback pocket.

I'm sure plenty of people feel like I do, and I'd love a comeback of these screens. People say they can be an MX headache but I've only sat in a handful of seats without a working LCD in the hundreds of flights I've taken on aircraft with that feature, so I'm inclined to think they don't break with unacceptable regularity. Nothing wrong with providing an optional service, if you aren't a fan you can always simply decline to use it.

As to trying to sleep in a cabin full of LCDs, a plane is a shared space, always assume someone will have a reading light on or something and prepare accordingly if you will have trouble sleeping.
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:11 am

1337Delta764 wrote:
The DL system was an older tape-based system, while the AA system is a digital system installed at a later time. Some of AA's 738s were originally delivered with CRTs over the aisle.

Yes, the original batch of 738s came with CRT monitors over the aisle. I always found that bizarre, given that LCD drop-down monitors existed at the time of delivery in the late 1990s, as DL and CO both had them in the 737NGs.

The CRT monitors were removed in 2010 and replaced with the drop down monitors and digital system.
Chasensfo wrote:
I don't get the issue a lot of you have with this. If you don't want seatback IFE; turn it off. Personally, I would much rather explore the options on the likes of Delta on a seatback screen then have to use my own device/battery and have a smaller screen. I don't own an ipad, I use my phone and prefer airline-provided screens to my phone and to not worry about charging in flight unless I let my phone just sit idle in a seatback pocket.

I'm sure plenty of people feel like I do, and I'd love a comeback of these screens. People say they can be an MX headache but I've only sat in a handful of seats without a working LCD in the hundreds of flights I've taken on aircraft with that feature, so I'm inclined to think they don't break with unacceptable regularity. Nothing wrong with providing an optional service, if you aren't a fan you can always simply decline to use it.

As to trying to sleep in a cabin full of LCDs, a plane is a shared space, always assume someone will have a reading light on or something and prepare accordingly if you will have trouble sleeping.

Exactly. I don't understand how heated/defensive people are regarding IFE. If you don't like it, don't use it.

The system AA has on their 738s/A321s/A319 (Thales?) is really efficient and I have never had a problem with it. Far prefer it over the Panasonic Ex3 found on their wide bodies. I also don't notice too much of legroom reduction with the underseat equipment, and I am 6ft3in.

AA could always go back to having folks pay for premium entertainment, which is what they had when the system was first introduced. When L-AA began to equip the narrow bodies with PTVs, I think NBC Universal content was free as well as some movies and the moving map, but everything else had a charge IIRC.
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N649DL
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:17 am

1337Delta764 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
Around 80 of the 738s still have seatback video in all classes, and all but 2 or 3 of the L-AA A321s still have seatback video as well.

A good number of the 738s still have the drop down monitors and overhead IFE system as well. I think the non-Oasis and non-PTV AA 738s are the only aircraft on a US carrier that still feature old-fashioned overhead IFE.


Oh, OK. Thanks for this then. I thought AA were removing AVOD hardcore right now. I haven't flown AA since like 2018. I just remember DL's overhead LCD screens were fading fast before they installed AVOD on some of the 738s and whatnot back in like 2016. AA always kept they in great shape for the cabin and credit card announcements. I know, I'm old school, but for AA to keep overhead screens around: They got creative with programming them (even flipping them down just to announce that the seat belt sign was turned on and arriving at destination) and flipping them up and down frequently during the flight for just the announcements. Makes less work for the F/A's too.

If they want to keep the AVOD system, better late than never. They can start by adding them to the ex-US A321 and A319 for starters (especially now that the 757s and 763s are retired.)


The DL system was an older tape-based system, while the AA system is a digital system installed at a later time. Some of AA's 738s were originally delivered with CRTs over the aisle.


Many Legacy AA 738s had a CRT over the isles that were replaced over the years in the form of LCDs (some might have actually been retired by now.) I think a total of 77 AA 737-800s delivered between 1999-2006 had the overhead CRTs and then got converted to LCD (along with new overhead bins as well.)

AA took a big 738 delivery order in 2009-2011 with the overhead LCDs and later with AVOD around 2014 when they announced delivery of the A321s as well.

USAirALB wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
The DL system was an older tape-based system, while the AA system is a digital system installed at a later time. Some of AA's 738s were originally delivered with CRTs over the aisle.

Yes, the original batch of 738s came with CRT monitors over the aisle. I always found that bizarre, given that LCD drop-down monitors existed at the time of delivery in the late 1990s, as DL and CO both had them in the 737NGs.

The CRT monitors were removed in 2010 and replaced with the drop down monitors and digital system.
Chasensfo wrote:
I don't get the issue a lot of you have with this. If you don't want seatback IFE; turn it off. Personally, I would much rather explore the options on the likes of Delta on a seatback screen then have to use my own device/battery and have a smaller screen. I don't own an ipad, I use my phone and prefer airline-provided screens to my phone and to not worry about charging in flight unless I let my phone just sit idle in a seatback pocket.

I'm sure plenty of people feel like I do, and I'd love a comeback of these screens. People say they can be an MX headache but I've only sat in a handful of seats without a working LCD in the hundreds of flights I've taken on aircraft with that feature, so I'm inclined to think they don't break with unacceptable regularity. Nothing wrong with providing an optional service, if you aren't a fan you can always simply decline to use it.

As to trying to sleep in a cabin full of LCDs, a plane is a shared space, always assume someone will have a reading light on or something and prepare accordingly if you will have trouble sleeping.

Exactly. I don't understand how heated/defensive people are regarding IFE. If you don't like it, don't use it.

The system AA has on their 738s/A321s/A319 (Thales?) is really efficient and I have never had a problem with it. Far prefer it over the Panasonic Ex3 found on their wide bodies. I also don't notice too much of legroom reduction with the underseat equipment, and I am 6ft3in.

AA could always go back to having folks pay for premium entertainment, which is what they had when the system was first introduced. When L-AA began to equip the narrow bodies with PTVs, I think NBC Universal content was free as well as some movies and the moving map, but everything else had a charge IIRC.


Unfortunately, it's a weight issue with the hard-wired overhead LCD / CRT issue. If it's just Advertisements, why not keep it? It's free advertising for AA at the end of the day anyway.

Side note: I'd love to know the deal UA pulled off with DTV to get it for free on all their A/C after CO/UA charged up the rear for it for many years (even after the merger occurred.)
 
ewt340
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:27 am

What they need to do is to give economy class passengers 31" seat pitch. Not Seatback video screen.

I think most of us could agree that free internet access and fast USB charging for each seat for smartphone or tablet would be way more effective compared to seatback video screen.
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:35 am

BTW, my last flight on an ex-US 752 on DFW-PHX the overhead IFE wasn't used at all, not even for a safety video.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:38 am

Chasensfo wrote:
I don't get the issue a lot of you have with this. If you don't want seatback IFE; turn it off.


With Delta, it doesn't stay off. (I don't have recent experience with every AVOD system in the fleet.)
 
ScottB
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:35 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
With Delta, it doesn't stay off. (I don't have recent experience with every AVOD system in the fleet.)


On which aircraft? I can't think of any Delta fleet type I've been on (with IFE) where there wasn't an option to switch off the screen.

OB1504 wrote:
It was bad enough when CO had those DirecTV ads playing. 10-15 minutes of commercials on top of the 10 minute credit card speech some FAs like giving? I'll just fly Spirit if I want that experience.


Yeah, that was super-irritating. While I appreciated that CO continued to offer complimentary in-flight meals in coach, I also felt like they were trying to use virtually every customer service touchpoint to upsell. At some point, just deliver me the damn product and stop trying to sell me more extras.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:03 am

I highly doubt delta has an IFE you can't turn off. Tell us the plane type

I will say a major issue with AA has been inconsistent product. Nice plane one flight , next is an oasis joke. Hard to know what you will get with AA.
 
ATLFlyer1234
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:08 am

USAirALB wrote:
The automated announcements over the IFE has always been an AA thing (and to some aspect US). They even have one should they need to request a doctor/nurse's assistance on board.

The Oasis 738s/321s also have an automated announcement system as well that does boarding/safety/ascent/descent/landing/auto seatbelt announcements.


I've always thought these announcements made it feel like there was even less interaction with AA's cold and unfriendly crews. DL could automate this but there's probably a reason they've chosen not to (except seatbelts - that would be nice).
 
Biophobe99
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:48 pm

AA if figuring out that their product is more than transportation if you want to be seen as a “premium” airline. Business travelers like seat back IFE because it gives them the option to have something playing in the background while leaving their tray tables free for their laptops and food/beverage. While it may not directly contribute to revenue it does heavily contribute to customer satisfaction as they perceive more value for their money.

Delta has been installing the Delta Flight Products IFE which is essentially a tablet mounted in the seat back. No cumbersome boxes under the seat since the only wiring needed is power as the content is delivered over WiFi.
 
Jetport
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:54 pm

apodino wrote:
rising wrote:
The nice thing about Oasis is it will bring in-seat power. PTVs are still on long-haul aircraft. They also have a pretty good library and live tv. Not sure this a major disadvantage.

I never understood how AA taking out PTVs on domestic aircraft makes some think they're turning into the White Star Line, while Southwest does not even offer in-seat power, let alone PTVs. Yet Southwest is for many a customer favorite over AA even without those things.

It will be nice when these cabins get standardized.

I actually don't mind the streaming service personally. That being said AA needs to do a better job of letting the customers know that they need the AA app in order to access it. The first time you get on a plane with the streaming service is actually when you first find out you need the app as there is no mention of this in the gate area or anywhere prior to boarding. And good luck trying to download it after boarding over 4G.


This article got me thinking though. It points out that AA is losing the Frequent Flyer and the premium customer, and this is one of a few reasons why. It almost looks to me like the people that run the spreadsheets look at costs, think this will work ok to cut costs. The problem is that some of these decisions not only cut costs, but cost revenue as well, in some cases more than offsets the cost savings. Does Management even consider how the public will react to these changes before they make them, and how much it will hurt them in the wallet? Remember this was the management team that tried to sell drinks in flight at US Airways, before having to retreat on that?


Lack of IFE is definitely a disadvantage for AA, I love catching up on movies I don't otherwise have time to watch on Delta flights. Also love the map so I can see what city I am flying over.

AA lost me as a customer (900,000 lifetime miles toward million miler) because they charge for status matches. When I lost status after not traveling much for over a year AA refused to match my Delta status without paying. UA matched for free and has become my number one airline ahead of Delta. AA lost over $10k in revenue from me in 2019/2020 since they wanted something like $300 for a status match United and Delta will give for free. Another penny wise and pound foolish AA policy.

I remember the drink selling experiment, it lasted what, 2 months? There were some good side effects, like quick service and getting an entire can without having to ask. I think the drink selling idea was Gangwhal's, or whatever his name is who went to Spirit or Frontier which definitely suited his ULCC approach better.
 
AAtakeMeAway
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:20 pm

DDR wrote:
Would it be possible to sell enough advertising to pay for the new seats? Make everyone watch 10 to 15 minutes of commercials before “control” to change channels, etc. is released?


FWIW they already do this (although it's less than a minute -- not 10-15 min) -- Once you select your language, you have to watch an ad before you're able to interact with the system (even getting to the moving map)
 
AAtakeMeAway
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:24 pm

IIRC there was one lone 738 that still had the CRT well after the others had the drop downs. Anyone know why that was?
 
Miamiairport
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:32 pm

I love AVOD. I don't want to deal with pulling out another device and worrying about having enough battery life left on it. I like the moving maps. However, I know that AVOD will never have a measurable ROI. DL has AVOD as part of it's "branding." And "branding" is very hard to put an ROI on. Given the absence of the business traveler and even higher end leisure traveler I can't see AA spending money to install AVOD and replace older, lower weight AVOD systems on the LAA narrow bodies.

I see some of AA's BE fares and they are within ULCC range although AA doesn't have the ULCC cost structure or even fee structure. No one paying $51 MIA/DFW rt (a BE fare I saw last week) gives a damn whether there's AVOD or not. The FAs could put on a strip show as part of the IFE and they wouldn't care.
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:46 pm

I just boarded a 738 with AVOD in DFW.

As soon as you select your preferred language it plays a 30 second or so advertisement clip. Ditto after selecting an entertainment selection. No biggie, as most airlines do so. Cathay last year had ads that were around 2 hours a piece.

I think United was forced to charge for the DirecTV service under the DTV contract CO had, DTV paid for the installation and upkeep of the equipment. I don’t think much/any of the profits from the program went to CO/UA, but rather to DTV.
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EMB170
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:03 pm

USAirALB wrote:
I agree this conversation is so tiring (and often ends in disappointment, at least for me).

I have always viewed the IFE removal as a flawed decision. Kids love it. Families love it. The vast majority of passengers love it.

Streaming-IFE is terrible, IMO. I couldn't get it to work on my last three flights (L-US A319s). I don't have a tablet, and it is a real pain to watch something because you constantly either have to have your tray table down or hold my laptop in my lap.

I honestly think that if AA reverted this position it would take away the negative reputation of the Oasis config. IIRC the L-AA A319s are keeping their screens. I don't see why they can't keep the screens on a portion of the 738/A321 fleet where they need to IFE to be competitive. If I lived in BOS and flew BOS-LAX regularly, I would certainly book DL/B6 over AA because of the guaranteed PTVs.


This. It's a good reason I give almost all of my domestic flying to DL. Syncing to the app and getting it to run smoothly on UA, AA, and WN has had mixed results. If I use a laptop, I have a larger screen, but then the tray table has to be down for the entire flight, and that's very inconvenient during a beverage service (and dangerous to my electronics during turbulence). If I use my cell phone, I *might* be able to get away with setting my phone into the seatback somehow, but then I'm straining my eyes to view content to begin with and it's far away if I recline.

Ive also heard FAs on this board say that if there is some sort of ground delay onboard, they love IFE equipped aircraft because the wifi might not work on the ground, but the screens do, and keeping the passengers occupied helps everyone chill out.

I think AA is (I hope) learning the hard way what DL and B6 realized a while ago- that you can charge a little more for airfares if you dress up the product a little bit and make it nicer- and screens at every seat are a way to do that. Maybe if AA adds screens in, UA might follow suit.
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airhansa
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:53 pm

1) I often think that planes without those screens are cheap or old. I associate them with low cost airlines rather than full service airlines.

2) You need to have enough battery on your tablet for the entire flight.

3) An airline with an PTV is one more function than an airline without.
 
ewt340
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:23 pm

airhansa wrote:
1) I often think that planes without those screens are cheap or old. I associate them with low cost airlines rather than full service airlines.

2) You need to have enough battery on your tablet for the entire flight.

3) An airline with an PTV is one more function than an airline without.


But realistically speaking, currently, which options would be better for passengers experience? Free Internet on board and fast charging for each seat or PTV?
 
SESGDL
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:33 pm

ewt340 wrote:
airhansa wrote:
1) I often think that planes without those screens are cheap or old. I associate them with low cost airlines rather than full service airlines.

2) You need to have enough battery on your tablet for the entire flight.

3) An airline with an PTV is one more function than an airline without.


But realistically speaking, currently, which options would be better for passengers experience? Free Internet on board and fast charging for each seat or PTV?


Not a good question. The two aren't mutually exclusive. You can offer both, win-win.

Jeremy
 
OB1504
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:05 am

DDR wrote:
I find it funny how lots of people want their seat back entertainment but say hell no to ads on IFE.


I want to be entertained, not marketed to. I don't mind some short ads like at the start of YouTube videos or what Hulu has on their ad supported plan, but not an entire 10-15 minute block of ads like one user suggested.

Miamiairport wrote:
I love AVOD. I don't want to deal with pulling out another device and worrying about having enough battery life left on it. I like the moving maps. However, I know that AVOD will never have a measurable ROI. DL has AVOD as part of it's "branding." And "branding" is very hard to put an ROI on. Given the absence of the business traveler and even higher end leisure traveler I can't see AA spending money to install AVOD and replace older, lower weight AVOD systems on the LAA narrow bodies.

I see some of AA's BE fares and they are within ULCC range although AA doesn't have the ULCC cost structure or even fee structure. No one paying $51 MIA/DFW rt (a BE fare I saw last week) gives a damn whether there's AVOD or not. The FAs could put on a strip show as part of the IFE and they wouldn't care.


I agree that the traveler paying less than $100 roundtrip probably has little in the way of preferences and even less in brand loyalty. If AA decides that's the market they want to chase, you correctly point out that they don't have the cost structure to support it.

If AA wants to compete against the other legacies or even be able to command a revenue premium over them, they need to invest in their product. This is referring to Oasis (and really the whole airline) as a whole rather than AVOD specifically, but AVOD would at least make the Oasis interiors slightly more tolerable.

ewt340 wrote:
airhansa wrote:
1) I often think that planes without those screens are cheap or old. I associate them with low cost airlines rather than full service airlines.

2) You need to have enough battery on your tablet for the entire flight.

3) An airline with an PTV is one more function than an airline without.


But realistically speaking, currently, which options would be better for passengers experience? Free Internet on board and fast charging for each seat or PTV?


Personally if there's a good selection of entertainment in the AVOD system then I have no need for the onboard Internet and it's nice to disconnect from the world for a while.

PhilMcCrackin wrote:
I live in PHX and AA chased me away to WN a long time ago. The value proposition is just better with WN to the places I want to go. I pay the same price(or less) for WN and I get a free checked bag and I'm usually boarding in the first 50 with my credit card. Whereas, with AA, I'm the lowest form of basic economy life and I'm lucky to get an aisle seat in the back of the plane.

I think IFE is just a symptom of a greater problem that AA has. Customers aren't stupid and they're not going to pay legacy prices for an ULCC product.


I agree. Doug Parker & Co. thought they could have the best of both worlds by overcharging for an inferior product and hopefully they're beginning to realize that customers are catching on.
 
ewt340
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:56 pm

SESGDL wrote:
ewt340 wrote:
airhansa wrote:
1) I often think that planes without those screens are cheap or old. I associate them with low cost airlines rather than full service airlines.

2) You need to have enough battery on your tablet for the entire flight.

3) An airline with an PTV is one more function than an airline without.


But realistically speaking, currently, which options would be better for passengers experience? Free Internet on board and fast charging for each seat or PTV?


Not a good question. The two aren't mutually exclusive. You can offer both, win-win.

Jeremy

You can offer both. But which one people would prefer? I think majority of people would probably prefer access on the internet because they could do more. Like browsing, e-mail, or even youtube.

Also, almost all people these days have smartphones or tablets. It is way more important to charge them than watching limited selection of old tv shows and films on 2-3 hour flights.
 
chonetsao
Posts: 605
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:22 pm

OB1504 wrote:
I agree. Doug Parker & Co. thought they could have the best of both worlds by overcharging for an inferior product and hopefully they're beginning to realize that customers are catching on.


I think part of the problem is when you manage an airline in the size of America West or even US Airways, you can get away with being a brutalist airline. Offer peanuts but charge premium in a smaller market. In the end, it is easier to fill 100,000 seats with breakeven rate than 10,000,000.

However, as soon as you step up to an airline the size of AA, your competitive landscape changes. And your core customer base changes. I remember when US management first arrived in AA, they questioned AA why they put the special configuration A321 on JFK-LAX routes, and ask why not put a normal A321 in 190 seats instead of 10F and 20J high premium config. Truth to be told, the US management can only work with an aircraft that jammed with cheap economy class seats so that the CASM looks good. Until the AA management showed them the numbers then they realise a 102 seats A321 can make such good money. That above incident only shows that why the LUS management take decisions that seemed questionable sometimes. The minimalist and brutalist approach is based on bean counter mentality. Invest money to make money seems alien to the LUS management. Their mantra is to cut cost to squeeze money.

Don't get me wrong, trend wise I think AVOD seat back screen will be gone some day in future across domestic fleet. But that day is still 5-10 years away. AA is just 5 years too early to rip out their seatback screens.

But I will insist my personal opinion that Doug Parker and his co has to go. People say size does not matter. But to Doug Parker, he is a genius to manage a smaller carrier or maybe a new airline, but he has limitations to manage an airline like AA.
 
N649DL
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:42 pm

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
I highly doubt delta has an IFE you can't turn off. Tell us the plane type

I will say a major issue with AA has been inconsistent product. Nice plane one flight , next is an oasis joke. Hard to know what you will get with AA.


DL's AVOD system definitely switches off. And if one can't figure that out, you can use the dimmer settings to get the brightness down.
 
DeltaRules
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:24 pm

ewt340 wrote:
SESGDL wrote:
ewt340 wrote:

But realistically speaking, currently, which options would be better for passengers experience? Free Internet on board and fast charging for each seat or PTV?


Not a good question. The two aren't mutually exclusive. You can offer both, win-win.

Jeremy

You can offer both. But which one people would prefer? I think majority of people would probably prefer access on the internet because they could do more. Like browsing, e-mail, or even youtube.

Also, almost all people these days have smartphones or tablets. It is way more important to charge them than watching limited selection of old tv shows and films on 2-3 hour flights.


Things may have changed, but the one time I tried to use YouTube on in-flight WiFi, I couldn't get a 3 minute video to fully load.
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stl07
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:03 pm

I'll be the guy to say it. Despite it being very uncomfortable, I love project oasis. Why? Because it has brought AAs pricing down significantly in my home market. They are usually priced at the same as F9 in my market. I love IFE, but I don't really care if AA doesn't have it and Delta or United does, because the lower price on AA made the trip possible to begin with. I have also noticed that there are way more people from all walks of life on AA flights then there used to be.
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Chasensfo
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:27 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Chasensfo wrote:
I don't get the issue a lot of you have with this. If you don't want seatback IFE; turn it off.


With Delta, it doesn't stay off. (I don't have recent experience with every AVOD system in the fleet.)

I fly Delta often, I can't say I've ever had that happen. Maybe you had a bad screen?
 
argentinevol98
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:07 am

I'll add that I took a flight a while back on Norwegian Air Argentina (R.I.P) with free wi-fi and found that to be great. Almost as good as AVOD and in a few ways better. Mind you that was on a ULCC. I think if AA wants to charge legacy fares then they ought to offer one of the two on domestic flights. AVOD or free wifi. You can give basic wifi for free and charge more for faster if you'd like just like you could offer a smaller, older, selection of movies and tv for free and charge for a more expansive, newer, selection. In seat USB charging is a must as well. I was happy when AVOD started appearing on the 738s after the CRT/LCD NBC Universal days. Somewhat disappointed they're heading backwards these days.
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intermodal64
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:40 am

I don’t care about seatback video. I don’t like it when it obstructs underseat stowage. I HATE the oasis configuration. Personal space means more to me than anything else they can try throwing at me.
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:21 am

So yesterday I flew on an AA 738 with AVOD, and today I flew on two separate AA A321 NEO flights with the new HD cabin, all in Y.

The 738 flight (DFW-LAX) was fully booked while the two A321 NEO flights (LAX-PHX-DCA) were sparsely filled, and I had an empty row to myself on both flights. Because of the slim design of the new AA Y domestic seat, the leg room on the Neo felt greater to me than the un-Oasis 738. I didn't think the padding was too bad on the A321, although I could feel it every time the person behind me touched the seatback.

However, I will say that the 738 felt more "comfortable" despite being more filled and having less personal space than the Neo (it was also uncomfortably hot on the 738 for some reason), and it's likely because AVOD was present and I was simply distracted during the flight.
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Novaboy2525
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:03 am

Does anybody know the numbers of LAA fleets vs LUS fleet? I'm curious as to which A319 I'll get for an upcoming flight out of CLT, also do all the LAA 319s have AVOD? Or has most of it been removed?
 
747fan
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:41 am

Novaboy2525 wrote:
Does anybody know the numbers of LAA fleets vs LUS fleet? I'm curious as to which A319 I'll get for an upcoming flight out of CLT, also do all the LAA 319s have AVOD? Or has most of it been removed?


There are 32 LAA 319's and for the most part they're based out of MIA and DFW, with a few flights out of ORD (specifically ORD-JAC, plus a few others). They're most prevalent out of MIA, as the majority of the DFW 319 flying now seems to be on the LUS models.
The CLT/PHL/PHX/LAX A319 flying is basically all LUS 319's.
These 32 LAA 319 deliveries (easily distinguished from the LUS delieveries by having "sharklets") still have AVOD and are among the few narrowbodies (along with the 321T's) currently planned to retain it. I may be wrong but I believe this is due to them historically being on some longer segments to Central America and Northern SA out of MIA/DFW.
 
VSMUT
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:52 am

The American Airlines CEO, isn't that the same guy who was CEO at US Airways when they got rid of all screens in their fleet?


Aptivaboy wrote:
Many now just don't have the same preference for paper in their hands. Whether it be crosswords, word searches or an actual book, the number of people that use that for entertainment are getting smaller by the day.


Oh, believe me, I know! I'm 53. I suspect that people from around my generation may be about the last who can handle things like long flights without needing to be distracted by screens, I pads and the like. We possess useful attention spans. The last time I flew, a kid had a meltdown when their device failed or ran out of juice or something. Me? I just pulled out a book on Waterloo and had some me-time fun.

Back on track, removing the seat back IFE was almost certainly a mistake. Once people are accustomed to seat back IFE, then they tend to get upset at its removal. Assuming it can be made small and light enough, then keeping it as a useful amenity should have been a priority for AA, at least until streaming at 30,000 feet becomes far more reliable than it currently is. And, don't even get me started about streaming on oceanic flights!


Lets be real, book sales are setting records these years. More people read more books now than ever before. I'm in my 20s and almost always carry a book with me. But books don't travel well in this day and age. Fare structures mean that adding a checked bag costs more, and books are heavy and bulky, so eat up the limited carry-on luggage space. Thanks to baggage theft, you'll probably find valuable computers or ipads taking up space and weight in your carry-on too.
 
Detroit313
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:45 pm

People just want universal power ports, USB ports, satellite wifi, huge overhead bins and tablet holders. Who cares about screens?
 
USAirALB
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:51 pm

747fan wrote:
Novaboy2525 wrote:
Does anybody know the numbers of LAA fleets vs LUS fleet? I'm curious as to which A319 I'll get for an upcoming flight out of CLT, also do all the LAA 319s have AVOD? Or has most of it been removed?


There are 32 LAA 319's and for the most part they're based out of MIA and DFW, with a few flights out of ORD (specifically ORD-JAC, plus a few others). They're most prevalent out of MIA, as the majority of the DFW 319 flying now seems to be on the LUS models.
The CLT/PHL/PHX/LAX A319 flying is basically all LUS 319's.
These 32 LAA 319 deliveries (easily distinguished from the LUS delieveries by having "sharklets") still have AVOD and are among the few narrowbodies (along with the 321T's) currently planned to retain it. I may be wrong but I believe this is due to them historically being on some longer segments to Central America and Northern SA out of MIA/DFW.

That's correct, but I would note that they do sometimes randomly rotate throughout the system as well. I have seen a few L-AA A319 flying done ex CLT on occasion...last time I saw one operating CLT-YYZ.

I never understood the reasoning behind letting the A319s keep the AVOD. The A321 Neos operate longer segments without AVOD.
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LCDFlight
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:53 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
skylor wrote:
This conversation is so tiring. They are not going to add seatback IFE. And they're definitely not going to be doing it during a global recession and pandemic while they're losing tens of millions of dollars daily.


I don't know how they justify the capex in the liquidity pickle they find themselves. If they announce it but don't have many planes retrofitted even 18 months from now it just makes knowledgeable passengers even more cynical.

Cubsrule wrote:
Here’s the fundamental problem with seatback IFE: my kids love it. I don’t care. So it’s a differentiator for leisure passengers but not those of us who pay the bills.


That is the problem - how does AVOD pay for itself? The counter-examples to AA's screenless world (and WN, and AS) are DL and B6. DL was getting higher TRASM than AA but there are many things DL does better than AA (see the op metrics on bags, cancellations, IDB, on-time...) and I don't see how that premium can be attributed (much) to AVOD.


How does it pay for itself?! It makes people willing to fly on your airline.

Story time: I was applying for a management job at US. A managing director asked me, how would you justify $3m to fix the carpet and seats in the hub at PHL? I said it’s about enforcing a minimum product standard on your airline, it’s about decency, the minimum you need to be a legitimate competitor so people don’t reject you. He said, “but how would PROVE the revenue came from that?” And I didn’t get that job. I did do a few other jobs in the industry though.
 
chonetsao
Posts: 605
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:17 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
How does it pay for itself?! It makes people willing to fly on your airline.

Story time: I was applying for a management job at US. A managing director asked me, how would you justify $3m to fix the carpet and seats in the hub at PHL? I said it’s about enforcing a minimum product standard on your airline, it’s about decency, the minimum you need to be a legitimate competitor so people don’t reject you. He said, “but how would PROVE the revenue came from that?” And I didn’t get that job. I did do a few other jobs in the industry though.


Classic LUS management thinking!

I think a great management book can be written on the LUS management style and failures. People tends to forget before the AA/US merger, US was effectively still in the process to untangle the mess of the previous merger.
 
Miamiairport
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:02 pm

The LAA 319 were not going to be retrofitted with Oasis and there's a cost to rip out the AVOD. Probably to a lesser extend some of the A319s (did) fly some longer thin routes out of MIA.

As far as AVOD there will never be a direct ROI. DL considers it part of the cost of branding. Parker clearly has little interest in "branding", more so to the average Y flyer.
 
N983AN
Posts: 114
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:10 pm

N649DL wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
N649DL wrote:

Oh, OK. Thanks for this then. I thought AA were removing AVOD hardcore right now. I haven't flown AA since like 2018. I just remember DL's overhead LCD screens were fading fast before they installed AVOD on some of the 738s and whatnot back in like 2016. AA always kept they in great shape for the cabin and credit card announcements. I know, I'm old school, but for AA to keep overhead screens around: They got creative with programming them (even flipping them down just to announce that the seat belt sign was turned on and arriving at destination) and flipping them up and down frequently during the flight for just the announcements. Makes less work for the F/A's too.

If they want to keep the AVOD system, better late than never. They can start by adding them to the ex-US A321 and A319 for starters (especially now that the 757s and 763s are retired.)


The DL system was an older tape-based system, while the AA system is a digital system installed at a later time. Some of AA's 738s were originally delivered with CRTs over the aisle.


Many Legacy AA 738s had a CRT over the isles that were replaced over the years in the form of LCDs (some might have actually been retired by now.) I think a total of 77 AA 737-800s delivered between 1999-2006 had the overhead CRTs and then got converted to LCD (along with new overhead bins as well.)

AA took a big 738 delivery order in 2009-2011 with the overhead LCDs and later with AVOD around 2014 when they announced delivery of the A321s as well.

USAirALB wrote:
1337Delta764 wrote:
The DL system was an older tape-based system, while the AA system is a digital system installed at a later time. Some of AA's 738s were originally delivered with CRTs over the aisle.

Yes, the original batch of 738s came with CRT monitors over the aisle. I always found that bizarre, given that LCD drop-down monitors existed at the time of delivery in the late 1990s, as DL and CO both had them in the 737NGs.

The CRT monitors were removed in 2010 and replaced with the drop down monitors and digital system.
Chasensfo wrote:
I don't get the issue a lot of you have with this. If you don't want seatback IFE; turn it off. Personally, I would much rather explore the options on the likes of Delta on a seatback screen then have to use my own device/battery and have a smaller screen. I don't own an ipad, I use my phone and prefer airline-provided screens to my phone and to not worry about charging in flight unless I let my phone just sit idle in a seatback pocket.

I'm sure plenty of people feel like I do, and I'd love a comeback of these screens. People say they can be an MX headache but I've only sat in a handful of seats without a working LCD in the hundreds of flights I've taken on aircraft with that feature, so I'm inclined to think they don't break with unacceptable regularity. Nothing wrong with providing an optional service, if you aren't a fan you can always simply decline to use it.

As to trying to sleep in a cabin full of LCDs, a plane is a shared space, always assume someone will have a reading light on or something and prepare accordingly if you will have trouble sleeping.

Exactly. I don't understand how heated/defensive people are regarding IFE. If you don't like it, don't use it.

The system AA has on their 738s/A321s/A319 (Thales?) is really efficient and I have never had a problem with it. Far prefer it over the Panasonic Ex3 found on their wide bodies. I also don't notice too much of legroom reduction with the underseat equipment, and I am 6ft3in.

AA could always go back to having folks pay for premium entertainment, which is what they had when the system was first introduced. When L-AA began to equip the narrow bodies with PTVs, I think NBC Universal content was free as well as some movies and the moving map, but everything else had a charge IIRC.


Unfortunately, it's a weight issue with the hard-wired overhead LCD / CRT issue. If it's just Advertisements, why not keep it? It's free advertising for AA at the end of the day anyway.

Side note: I'd love to know the deal UA pulled off with DTV to get it for free on all their A/C after CO/UA charged up the rear for it for many years (even after the merger occurred.)



The initial 77 were delivered between February 1999-November 2001. Deliveries did not resume until March 2009 with what was then dubbed the "73D" fleet, initially all based at ORD which featured new slimline seats with articulating, dropdown LCDs, and expanded overhead bins.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 3722
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:17 pm

The real reason behind this rethink is the technology has emerged to remove most of the costs. DL's A220 AVOD is literally just a seat back tablet that gets streamed to. No wiring issues, easy to maintain and replace and significantly lighter than traditional AVOD. AA is probably looking at that.
 
Miamiairport
Posts: 588
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:24 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
The real reason behind this rethink is the technology has emerged to remove most of the costs. DL's A220 AVOD is literally just a seat back tablet that gets streamed to. No wiring issues, easy to maintain and replace and significantly lighter than traditional AVOD. AA is probably looking at that.


Then does AA plan on just operating some of the narrow body fleet with them or all of them? If the latter there's a cost to install and maintain them and I don't see Parker willing to spend money on the "brand." Presumably the 738s/A321s with AVOD could be used on longer routes but that would cut down on a/c utilization efficiency.
 
acavpics
Posts: 369
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:53 pm

skylor wrote:
This conversation is so tiring. They are not going to add seatback IFE. And they're definitely not going to be doing it during a global recession and pandemic while they're losing tens of millions of dollars daily.


Then explain why DL spent so much time putting IFE in almost all their mainline domestic/short haul planes?
 
acavpics
Posts: 369
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:56 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
The real reason behind this rethink is the technology has emerged to remove most of the costs. DL's A220 AVOD is literally just a seat back tablet that gets streamed to. No wiring issues, easy to maintain and replace and significantly lighter than traditional AVOD. AA is probably looking at that.

Is the same seat back tablet system on their newly refurbished A320's and 737's?
 
FSDan
Posts: 3281
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:56 pm

Detroit313 wrote:
People just want universal power ports, USB ports, satellite wifi, huge overhead bins and tablet holders. Who cares about screens?


I guess you haven't read many of the comments in this thread, as there's clearly a majority of people who prefer AVOD over no AVOD...

I'll add myself into the "prefer AVOD" category. DL's my first choice for any flight over 2 hours, and AVOD is definitely part of the reason (along with a general perception that DL cares more about their customers than other airlines, and AVOD again plays a part in that perception). And yes, I've payed extra to fly DL over competitors before for those reasons. Also, if I think back to the best flight experiences I've had, in pretty much every case there was AVOD, and that was part of the enjoyment of the flight.

I'd love to see AA add AVOD back to their mainline fleet, and make some other improvements in the customer experience while they're at it. Until that happens, I'll likely only fly AA if they have the only nonstop option on the route I'm flying, or if they're significantly cheaper than other comparable options.
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Jomar777
Posts: 554
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Re: AA reconsidering seatback video screens

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:17 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
skylor wrote:
This conversation is so tiring. They are not going to add seatback IFE. And they're definitely not going to be doing it during a global recession and pandemic while they're losing tens of millions of dollars daily.


I don't know how they justify the capex in the liquidity pickle they find themselves. If they announce it but don't have many planes retrofitted even 18 months from now it just makes knowledgeable passengers even more cynical.

Cubsrule wrote:
Here’s the fundamental problem with seatback IFE: my kids love it. I don’t care. So it’s a differentiator for leisure passengers but not those of us who pay the bills.


That is the problem - how does AVOD pay for itself? The counter-examples to AA's screenless world (and WN, and AS) are DL and B6. DL was getting higher TRASM than AA but there are many things DL does better than AA (see the op metrics on bags, cancellations, IDB, on-time...) and I don't see how that premium can be attributed (much) to AVOD.


it is a tiring conversation that has to be had given the idea of removing it. the benefit is intangible but evident as some posts here do show: you tend to book another airline for having PTV/AVOD rather than with AA. So, it is extra CAPex costs against passenger appeal. Yes!! Cut it to bare bones, take away AVOD, charge dearly for passengers to book their seats, take away the right to have cabin luggage when not offering free or cheap check-in... it becomes quite a cheap product to run but also a cheap product to be had which make passengers shy away from it. Quite right - some passengers who just want to fly A to B still go with you but these are the ones which will not buy your food on board, will not sing up to your mileage card, will not buy any other extra - the typical Ryanair flier!!
You do get the flight fare but nothing else...

It is time for airlines start realizing this and consider. There's no need to go back to old times but maybe something better and less bare bones we have at present.

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