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Razza92
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United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:31 pm

According to UA CCO Toby Enqvist, UA is planning on putting seatback IFE back on narrow body aircraft.

Not only that but also adding larger overhead bins to these aircraft.

Furthermore expanding United Clubs, as well as implementing the pre-ordering of food by year end.

Sounds like a good idea... trying to keep up with DL? Perhaps. Either way it’s improving customer experience, especially when paired with their idea of pre-booking food!

Thoughts?

https://onemileatatime.com/united-airli ... ld-planes/

https://liveandletsfly.com/united-airli ... k-screens/
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keesje
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:39 pm

An inspiring movie, a little knee & shoulder space, a decent meal and I don't care how old the aircraft is (A340/A380 stability & cabin quietness are a boon)

In front it doesn't matter that much, you have enough space for laptop/ tablet and are pampered / sleeping anyway.
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acavpics
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:54 pm

A slap in the face to AA who just removed them from nearly all narrowbodies.
 
SonomaFlyer
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:56 pm

Many airlines are going to device streaming since we all bring either phones and/or pads and/or laptops on trips. It saves weight plus the folks can plug into power ports so I don't agree AA was just slapped in the face.
 
acavpics
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:05 pm

SonomaFlyer wrote:
Many airlines are going to device streaming since we all bring either phones and/or pads and/or laptops on trips. It saves weight plus the folks can plug into power ports so I don't agree AA was just slapped in the face.


I'd prefer staring out the window to staring at a tiny phone screen for hours. And plus, I wouldn't dare put my laptop on the tray table and risk someone's coffee spilling on it when there's turbulence.
 
SXDFC
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:10 pm

Does this also mean they might be doing a BSI retrofit on their older 737s?

As someone who works crew on the 737, it’s amazing to see the difference. I’ve worked a 7 year old 737-800 with the BSI, and the pax think it’s a brand new airplane.
 
deltaflyertoo
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:14 pm

This is big news....but yeah creates more questions than answers (articles don't seem to know either)...whats the def of "Older"...the 737NGs, Airbuses? And why not fleet wide-(IE the Max)...for poster above that said AA took them all out-I know that was plan-but did that really happen? Are all the A321 sharklets PTV less now? Maybe AA will rethink this. IMO for both UAL and AA the entire narrowbody fleet doesn't have to have them but at least on a selection of a/c that are going 2 1/2 hours or longer in stage length.
Last edited by deltaflyertoo on Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:17 pm

I really don't think seat back screens are necessary for flights under 3 hours.
 
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InnsbruckFlyer
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:18 pm

Curious to see what aircraft will get new IFEs. Surely a lot of 737NGs. What about the A319/320s?
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Scarebus34
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:27 pm

He never said they were adding PTVs... he said they were adding AVOD. That could take shape in many forms. Also, I find it hard to believe they're going to be adding new seats, the current seats aren't even that old. They should replace the first class seats on the 737, however. Those have seen better days.
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:34 pm

I wonder if the MAX 8s will arrive with IFE, it is likely though the seats were ordered a long time ago unless this was a decision that has been planned for a long time.
 
deltaflyertoo
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:35 pm

"He never said they were adding PTVs... he said they were adding AVOD."


The One Mile at Time article didn't say AVOD...and you are right-I don't see a quote saying "PTV" either...just assumed? Article does go on to say "Perhaps most interesting is that United plans to retrofit older narrow body aircraft to add personal televisions, including audio and video on demand." ....indeed something more official at the point would be ideal.
 
Scarebus34
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:38 pm

deltaflyertoo wrote:
"He never said they were adding PTVs... he said they were adding AVOD."


The One Mile at Time article didn't say AVOD...and you are right-I don't see a quote saying "PTV" either...just assumed? Article does go on to say "Perhaps most interesting is that United plans to retrofit older narrow body aircraft to add personal televisions, including audio and video on demand." ....indeed something more official at the point would be ideal.

The article is probably written off of peoples assumptions - the video that it's referencing doesn't say anything about adding screens. It's possible - just not confirmed.
 
FCOTSTW
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:43 pm

I think that after the many episodes of bad publicity (probably the most infamous being the dragging of David Dao at ORD in 04/2017) UA is trying to buy back customer trust through these actions. Most definitely a good try to reposition itself as a premium brand.
 
United1
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:53 pm

Scarebus34 wrote:
deltaflyertoo wrote:
"He never said they were adding PTVs... he said they were adding AVOD."


The One Mile at Time article didn't say AVOD...and you are right-I don't see a quote saying "PTV" either...just assumed? Article does go on to say "Perhaps most interesting is that United plans to retrofit older narrow body aircraft to add personal televisions, including audio and video on demand." ....indeed something more official at the point would be ideal.

The article is probably written off of peoples assumptions - the video that it's referencing doesn't say anything about adding screens. It's possible - just not confirmed.


Well if not screens what else would could they be adding? The entire mainline fleet, and any UAX aircraft with F, already has streaming video.
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drdisque
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:53 pm

Every narrow body in the mainline fleet (and I think all 70 seaters and CRJ550s) have Personal Device AVOD, so saying they're doing this without adding PTV's would be pointless as they already have everything except PTV's.

What is the current IFE product on the B752's?

I think the only decipherable thing is that they are putting BSI on the 737-700/800/900 with the classic bins.
 
JOSEMEX
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:54 pm

I hope they also bring back Channel 9 while they're at it.
 
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lugie
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:55 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
I really don't think seat back screens are necessary for flights under 3 hours.


Maybe not necessary, but definitely a much welcomed add-on.

In fact, from conversations with friends and relatives who aren't deeply into aviation, I've (maybe just anecdotally but nonetheless) gotten the impression that the presence of seatback IFE screens is one of the most notable and most noted subjective features for many regular air passengers.

"Their plane had those little TVs in the seat even though it was just a short flight" is about the highest, most sincere praise an airline could receive.


So good on UA, it's a move I could definitely see paying off in terms of customer perception.
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:57 pm

SonomaFlyer wrote:
Many airlines are going to device streaming since we all bring either phones and/or pads and/or laptops on trips. It saves weight plus the folks can plug into power ports so I don't agree AA was just slapped in the face.


Agree. In five years UA will still be adding in these screens and they’ll already be outdated. If I were AA, the real gangster move would be to make internet totally free on top of their already free streaming entertainment. Give pax a really good reason to just use their own devices. It would turn the tables on DL and UA — they stand to lose even more money giving up paid wifi on top of the money they lose from added weight and maintenance of IFE.
 
Pi7472000
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:12 pm

This is great! Sounds like United is trying to become Delta which is awesome to fly too. Glad to see United and Delta will be the premium mainline carriers. AA seems to becoming more like a budget legacy with very basic services.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:19 pm

acavpics wrote:
A slap in the face to AA who just removed them from nearly all narrowbodies.

Pi7472000 wrote:
This is great! Sounds like United is trying to become Delta which is awesome to fly too. Glad to see United and Delta will be the premium mainline carriers. AA seems to becoming more like a budget legacy with very basic services.


I agree. There was already a gap between UA/DL, and AA in terms of premiumization, but post-covid it seems like it will grow.

United1 wrote:
Scarebus34 wrote:
deltaflyertoo wrote:
"He never said they were adding PTVs... he said they were adding AVOD."


The One Mile at Time article didn't say AVOD...and you are right-I don't see a quote saying "PTV" either...just assumed? Article does go on to say "Perhaps most interesting is that United plans to retrofit older narrow body aircraft to add personal televisions, including audio and video on demand." ....indeed something more official at the point would be ideal.

The article is probably written off of peoples assumptions - the video that it's referencing doesn't say anything about adding screens. It's possible - just not confirmed.


Well if not screens what else would could they be adding? The entire mainline fleet, and any UAX aircraft with F, already has streaming video.


I'd assume seat-back screens.
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lugie wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
I really don't think seat back screens are necessary for flights under 3 hours.


Maybe not necessary, but definitely a much welcomed add-on.

In fact, from conversations with friends and relatives who aren't deeply into aviation, I've (maybe just anecdotally but nonetheless) gotten the impression that the presence of seatback IFE screens is one of the most notable and most noted subjective features for many regular air passengers.

"Their plane had those little TVs in the seat even though it was just a short flight" is about the highest, most sincere praise an airline could receive.

So good on UA, it's a move I could definitely see paying off in terms of customer perception.


Yep, it is a big bonus especially if you are traveling with children.

I'm a fan since it is nice to not have to stream on your phone/computer, and you can multi-task while watching on the Seat-back.

BigPlaneGuy13 wrote:
SonomaFlyer wrote:
Many airlines are going to device streaming since we all bring either phones and/or pads and/or laptops on trips. It saves weight plus the folks can plug into power ports so I don't agree AA was just slapped in the face.


Agree. In five years UA will still be adding in these screens and they’ll already be outdated. If I were AA, the real gangster move would be to make internet totally free on top of their already free streaming entertainment. Give pax a really good reason to just use their own devices. It would turn the tables on DL and UA — they stand to lose even more money giving up paid wifi on top of the money they lose from added weight and maintenance of IFE.


The problem is they would likely need to invest a sizable amount (not sure the amount) to upgrade the wifi on all aircraft to be able to manage all their customers(likely on multiple devices) using wifi at the same time.

I agree, free wifi would be a big step, but it would need to run "relatively" smoothly for customers not to complain about it.
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United1
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:20 pm

JOSEMEX wrote:
I hope they also bring back Channel 9 while they're at it.


Channel 9 still exists. All 777, 767s and retrofitted 752's have Channel 9 installed. It would not surprise me if it comes back to the narrow body fleet if UA retrofits AVOD screens.

Now if its turned on or not is another story but.....
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
Ziyulu
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:23 pm

United1 wrote:
JOSEMEX wrote:
I hope they also bring back Channel 9 while they're at it.


Channel 9 still exists. All 777, 767s and retrofitted 752's have Channel 9 installed. It would not surprise me if it comes back to the narrow body fleet if UA retrofits AVOD screens.

Now if its turned on or not is another story but.....


Many planes with the traditional entertainment system have a "Channel 9".
 
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:32 pm

Well this is a huge surprise. I guess the streaming entertainment thing wasn't a popular as they thought. They shouldn't have removed the older IFE systems in the first place as there was really nothing wrong with them on a the 319 and 320. They had very comfortable seats too. What are they planning on doing with the aircraft that have the DTV installed and currently free of charge?
 
AWACSooner
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:56 pm

Your move AA.

Wish UA would quit penalizing the "Econ -" folks by denying them a carry-on...now THAT would be a sign they want to be customer friendly.
 
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:59 pm

I think this is a good move by UA, recognizing that they do face significant competition at basically all their hubs, and that PTVs do raise the perception of the value passengers are getting in many cases. Anything they can do to differentiate their product will help them against AA in ORD and LAX, WN in DEN and IAH, AS in SFO, etc.

Additionally, if the mix of traffic is likely to be skewed less towards business and more towards leisure going forward, it's likely that PTVs will mean more to more passengers than they used to. I certainly have enjoyed watching all kinds of movies and shows while flying DL over the past years, even on flights just barely reaching the 2-hour mark.
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UA735WL
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:31 pm

Cutting the fee for the first bag and *permanently* eliminating change fees would do a lot more to endear me to UA than installing a screen that I'll turn off the moment I sit down. Until that happens it's WN for me. Then again, I suppose I am unique in that I dislike screens on planes. Definitely a big win if you have kiddos.
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intotheair
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:41 pm

I could see where new technology might neutralize all the typical reasons against installing PTVs. UA already has pretty robust infrastructure in place for PDE, so maybe they can very cheaply install the equivalent of what's inside an $89 Amazon tablet into every seat. I would think a lot of the components involved (screen, power) have come down in size and cost. It used to be true that airplane PTV technology went obsolete within five years. But now?

I don't really care about PTVs so much as I always bring my iPad with something already downloaded. IME, the most annoying thing about PDE is when people don't bring their own PDE but then decide to whip out their phone and watch something without headphones. That seems to be happening more often. Let's install PTVs if only as a solution for those people.

N649DL wrote:
Well this is a huge surprise. I guess the streaming entertainment thing wasn't a popular as they thought. They shouldn't have removed the older IFE systems in the first place as there was really nothing wrong with them on a the 319 and 320. They had very comfortable seats too. What are they planning on doing with the aircraft that have the DTV installed and currently free of charge?


For the record, UA never had PTVs on the A319/320s. They had those drop-down LCDs and a common show (remember NBC Inflight?). They were taken out when that fleet was slimlined, and yes, the UA Airbus slimlines are definitely ones to avoid. The PMUA 757s didn't have PTVs either.

Pretty much every ex-CO 737 had PTVs with DirecTV. New 737 deliveries post-merger didn't come with PTVs, and some older 737s and the 753 fleet had PTVs removed during some reconfigurations.
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:49 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
I really don't think seat back screens are necessary for flights under 3 hours.


Other than regional jets which lack t-con range, UA doesn't segregate aircraft types by flight distance. You might get a 319 on a 2000-mile flight, or it could be a 777.
 
blooc350
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:59 pm

If UA wants to be seen as a "Premium Carrier"- they need to provide the full experience. You dont check into the Four Seasons and not have a TV. Regardless if you have an Ipad or laptop.
 
kd9gy
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:07 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
United1 wrote:
JOSEMEX wrote:
I hope they also bring back Channel 9 while they're at it.


Channel 9 still exists. All 777, 767s and retrofitted 752's have Channel 9 installed. It would not surprise me if it comes back to the narrow body fleet if UA retrofits AVOD screens.

Now if its turned on or not is another story but.....


Many planes with the traditional entertainment system have a "Channel 9".


One of the BEST 'perks' of United! Bring back Channel 9 on all planes - and really encourage the pilots to keep it on! (Yes, it is geeky, but it is amazing how many people have really enjoyed it over the years.) Should not cost much, if anything, to add it to the existing audio/video/wi-fi systems.
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:27 pm

N649DL wrote:
Well this is a huge surprise. I guess the streaming entertainment thing wasn't a popular as they thought. They shouldn't have removed the older IFE systems in the first place as there was really nothing wrong with them on a the 319 and 320. They had very comfortable seats too. What are they planning on doing with the aircraft that have the DTV installed and currently free of charge?


This was brought up in the Travel Polls and Preferences forum on the recent seatback IFE topic. The technology for streaming isn't 100% reliable and can be clunky at times, and a bigger takeaway, you look at the Generation X/Millenials and younger population and they tend to use multiple devices at once, including TVs. See below for a study by Facebook on this topic:

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/ ... he-screens

The initial UA move to yank out the PTVs was a Kirby reaction to cut costs (a la AA), but I am surprised to see UA will now be pursuing this in a post-COVID environment where capital expenditures should be very restricted.
 
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intotheair
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:37 pm

phatfarmlines wrote:
The initial UA move to yank out the PTVs was a Kirby reaction to cut costs (a la AA), but I am surprised to see UA will now be pursuing this in a post-COVID environment where capital expenditures should be very restricted.


That was a Smisek decision, not Scott Kirby. As I said above, the first new 737s they started receiving right after the merger were the first to not receive PTVs. A lot of ex-CO 737s kept PTVs even when they were slimlined, but I think that was a provision in the contract with DirecTV. Scott Kirby wasn't at United yet.
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:39 pm

phatfarmlines wrote:
The initial UA move to yank out the PTVs was a Kirby reaction to cut costs (a la AA), but I am surprised to see UA will now be pursuing this in a post-COVID environment where capital expenditures should be very restricted.


Other than some 737s which had DTV, United haven’t removed PTVs from any aircraft. They did remove the drop down screens from the Airbus fleet, although that product really isn’t competitive in the 2020s and are much more expansive then modern tablet-style screens.

The move to BYOD at United started years before Kirby joined, it’s really a Smisek era move.

He was only CEO for a brief period before COVID hit, so it’s hard to say what Kirby’s approach will be as CEO, but so far he hasn’t really made any moves to cheapen United to AA levels.
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nine4nine
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:55 pm

Thank goodness. My last flight on UA was in a 73G SNA-EWR and the wifi was slow, cut in and out, and I had no power so my phone was dead 2-1/2 hours in.
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alan3
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:56 pm

Glad to see the AA/UA trend didn't become the standard.

The streaming to app selection was often disappointing; You had to choose whether to use the table to eat or prop up your tablet. Those of us that multitask (work on laptop/using the inflight wifi/watch a movie/read an E-book) had to pick which one. Seatback IFE are larger than a phone or mini tablet anyway.

And as others mentioned, other than regional jets, the same aircraft are now often used for a 5-hour transcon flight as for a 45 minute hop.

Now if I could be really fussy, can airlines please not adopt the Air Canada format of putting the earplug hole awkwardly at the bottom of the screen so that it dips into your food while eating and you have to unplug your headset to get out of your seat. Thanks.
 
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STT757
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:00 pm

UA735WL wrote:
Cutting the fee for the first bag and *permanently* eliminating change fees would do a lot more to endear me to UA than installing a screen that I'll turn off the moment I sit down. Until that happens it's WN for me. Then again, I suppose I am unique in that I dislike screens on planes. Definitely a big win if you have kiddos.


They already announced they’re “permanently” removing change fees.

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/change-fee.html

The bag fee is taken care of if you use your Chase MileagePlus card.
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JetAwayDrew
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:07 pm

The big question is, how will AA respond? Assuming UA is actually installing PTV’s (since it wasn’t stated explicitly), I can’t imagine AA sitting back and letting themselves be the lone wolf of the pack.
 
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STT757
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:15 pm

United’s Max 737s will have an enviable product if they install PTV’s.
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STT757
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:23 pm

Here’s theory into United’s thinking, they’re expecting more revenue to be earned on domestic and close in International travel (Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America) and less from long hauls like China, London, Paris and Rome for the next few years.

Travel patterns shifting, instead of Italy people will opt for vacations in Hawaii or Aruba.
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NYCVIE
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Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:24 pm

JetAwayDrew wrote:
The big question is, how will AA respond? Assuming UA is actually installing PTV’s (since it wasn’t stated explicitly), I can’t imagine AA sitting back and letting themselves be the lone wolf of the pack.


I can see them doing just that.
 
phatfarmlines
Posts: 1897
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 12:06 pm

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:35 pm

intotheair wrote:
phatfarmlines wrote:
The initial UA move to yank out the PTVs was a Kirby reaction to cut costs (a la AA), but I am surprised to see UA will now be pursuing this in a post-COVID environment where capital expenditures should be very restricted.


That was a Smisek decision, not Scott Kirby. As I said above, the first new 737s they started receiving right after the merger were the first to not receive PTVs. A lot of ex-CO 737s kept PTVs even when they were slimlined, but I think that was a provision in the contract with DirecTV. Scott Kirby wasn't at United yet.


RyanairGuru wrote:
Other than some 737s which had DTV, United haven’t removed PTVs from any aircraft. They did remove the drop down screens from the Airbus fleet, although that product really isn’t competitive in the 2020s and are much more expansive then modern tablet-style screens.

The move to BYOD at United started years before Kirby joined, it’s really a Smisek era move.

He was only CEO for a brief period before COVID hit, so it’s hard to say what Kirby’s approach will be as CEO, but so far he hasn’t really made any moves to cheapen United to AA levels.


I stand corrected. Not sure why I thought that was Kirby.
 
USAirALB
Posts: 2598
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:36 pm

I think over the years United has seen the revenue premium that DL has gained, and I think said premium can undeniable be drawn back to their commitment to having a standardized PaxEx across their aircraft. I also think they have seen how AA's disgraceful Oasis/Kodiak project has been received and view this as a way to differentiate themselves from AA's horrible domestic product and somewhat "attack" AA, because let's face it; Oasis/Kodiak is now fully complete on the 738 fleet, and is well underway on the A321 fleet. There's no going back. Seatback IFE is done on AA except for the L-AA A319/A321T and wide body aircraft.
STT757 wrote:
Here’s theory into United’s thinking, they’re expecting more revenue to be earned on domestic and close in International travel (Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America) and less from long hauls like China, London, Paris and Rome for the next few years.

Travel patterns shifting, instead of Italy people will opt for vacations in Hawaii or Aruba.

Bingo.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 763ER, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
 
luckyone
Posts: 3966
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:21 am

To hear some of you talk, AA and UA are going to be body slamming each other in whatever modern version of WWF features on Monday night...

Speaking only for myself, I prefer the seat back screen. I don’t have use for an iPad and thus don’t have one—everywhere I go there’s a computer or I have AppleTV in my home. Using my phone on the plane is cumbersome and the screen is small.
 
d8s
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:17 am

United1 wrote:
JOSEMEX wrote:
I hope they also bring back Channel 9 while they're at it.


Channel 9 still exists. All 777, 767s and retrofitted 752's have Channel 9 installed. It would not surprise me if it comes back to the narrow body fleet if UA retrofits AVOD screens.

Now if its turned on or not is another story but.....


Always been disappointed the channel 9 was not on the narrow bodies, especially the DirecTV aircraft. That was a CO error....
 
N649DL
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:11 am

phatfarmlines wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Well this is a huge surprise. I guess the streaming entertainment thing wasn't a popular as they thought. They shouldn't have removed the older IFE systems in the first place as there was really nothing wrong with them on a the 319 and 320. They had very comfortable seats too. What are they planning on doing with the aircraft that have the DTV installed and currently free of charge?


This was brought up in the Travel Polls and Preferences forum on the recent seatback IFE topic. The technology for streaming isn't 100% reliable and can be clunky at times, and a bigger takeaway, you look at the Generation X/Millenials and younger population and they tend to use multiple devices at once, including TVs. See below for a study by Facebook on this topic:

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/ ... he-screens

The initial UA move to yank out the PTVs was a Kirby reaction to cut costs (a la AA), but I am surprised to see UA will now be pursuing this in a post-COVID environment where capital expenditures should be very restricted.


Interesting survey. I will admit, the last place I lived in Austin had comped cable and briefly at my new place in Redondo Beach, CA living with other roommates. I definitely had no problem keeping the TV on in my room while working on my laptop remotely. Usually it was the news or The Weather Channel, but it was nice for background noise. As a matter of fact, I'm actually thinking of getting it again for my room since the price has dropped and can be bundled with the internet. "Cutting the Cord" is overrated as there are typically buffering issues on large TVs when using devices like Apple TV or the Roku. They just can't keep up with the bandwidth of the WiFi, although streaming on Amazon or YouTube is fine on a laptop from what I've noticed.

The thing about the streaming WiFi right now is it has never reached proper reliability even at home. I do Cloud-Based Marketing Automation and almost daily the system will crap out over the WiFi on either Firefox or Chrome. This means work doesn't get saved properly or pages have to constantly be refreshed to review new content settings. Today it surprisingly broke on Chrome while trying to adjust SMS push settings in a "Drag and Drop" Customer Journey and simply wouldn't load the page after several attempts. It did load on Firefox, but usually it's the reverse. And if it's not the browser, it's because my MacBook Pro needs to get rebooted (which is horrendous considering it's brand new.) And our internet isn't even bad as it's the highest bandwidth available from Frontier. So if a household can't always handle it, I doubt airplanes reliably can. GoGo WiFi on Delta for instance has always been expensive and atrocious with loading basic browsers but at least there are backup seat back AVOD screens to fall back on. I could see United realizing this as I highly doubt servers on the HD 777s to Hawaii are stable with so many people trying to run content off their devices at the same time. Probably lots of submitted complaints from families that can't get content to properly stream on long flights.

With regards to classic IFE, I think AA had the right idea flying them a few times over the last few years by keeping overhead screens on their 738s and displaying cabin announcements so the F/A's don't have to. They also have the most advanced & user friendly AVOD system on their A321s (hopefully that's not going away entirely.) The DTV system on UA is harmless, but for years it was so annoying expensive to pay for but Thank God it's now free. I recall the last time I used it was flying F on a 753 and there was literally nothing on because it was a Friday night and ended up watching "Golden Girls" re-runs on Lifetime for 5+ hours. And the moving map has a pathetic user interface and hard to believe you used to had to pay to use it. IIRC, there were also no music channels either.
Last edited by N649DL on Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 5162
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:18 am

A few people on here went nuts about PTVs not mattering. They are the very vocal minority and wrong. We all know customers care about PTVs. The average person thinks a plane is "new" if there is has a ptv and old if it doesn't have one. It's that simple. Take any flight they are heavily used. Ask anyone not on a. Net that is what determines an old plane from a new plane.
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4596
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:21 am

My gripe with Channel 9 was always being overrides by the long drawn out FA announcements shortly after takeoff. Departure is probably the most interesting time to listen to Channel 9 and it seemed more often than not 3, 000 ft to 12,000 ft was full of FA announcements describing the “exciting new Chase MileagePlus offer”. By the time they are done it seems we would be handed off to center where it was all mostly just frequency changes until approach, where another long FA announcement would override the most interesting conversations.
 
Scarebus34
Posts: 706
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:45 am

LOL. They had removed the video earlier today only to put it back up but they edited out the part about renovating narrowbody aircraft, new seats, and adding AVOD.
 
catiii
Posts: 3886
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: United adding seatback IFE - AVOD to older narrow body aircraft

Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:54 am

BigPlaneGuy13 wrote:
SonomaFlyer wrote:
Many airlines are going to device streaming since we all bring either phones and/or pads and/or laptops on trips. It saves weight plus the folks can plug into power ports so I don't agree AA was just slapped in the face.


Agree. In five years UA will still be adding in these screens and they’ll already be outdated. If I were AA, the real gangster move would be to make internet totally free on top of their already free streaming entertainment. Give pax a really good reason to just use their own devices. It would turn the tables on DL and UA — they stand to lose even more money giving up paid wifi on top of the money they lose from added weight and maintenance of IFE.


How is that a “gangster move” if JetBlue is already doing it (and has been for years), and DL has announced they’re going to do it? And why do you assume DL and UA lose money “from added weight and maintenance of IFE?”

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