AlnessW
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IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:03 pm

Quick backstory here before I begin - growing up, I would spend summers on the east coast hence I pretty much remember flying United PDX-ORD-MHT (and back) with my mom and family for as long as I can recall. Everything felt so simple back then (but maybe I'm remembering wrong) - no web check-in, no fees to drop off bags at the ticket counter, no fuss boarding the flight, etc. etc. More so, I DO remember quite vividly plugging my headphones into the armrest audio jack. I would listen mostly to the flight deck on Channel 9 as well as the "McDonaldland Radio" (or whatever that was called), both of which seemed to be offered on most all UA flights. (Anyone able to clarify?) And really, for an 8-or-so-year old kid who was into airplanes, few things in the entire WORLD are cooler than listening to live air traffic control as it was happening and radio-style banter between McDonaldland characters.

This last summer, I spent a week in New Hampshire and when booking the trip, made a special point of flying United PDX-ORD-BOS just like old days. Above all I couldn't get over the fact that I was flying on United jets branded with Continental logos...... I had a great trip but my experience overall with UA in 2018 was not a fun one (I'll probably go into this farther in a trip report). Then for my flight home, I booked BOS-SFO-PDX namely because BOS-SFO had the option of a Boeing 777-200. I was expecting a lovely flight on a large, long-haul aircraft with all the fixings. That was not the case.

For the sake of this thread, I couldn't help but notice the lack of TV screens in the seatbacks. There was a label on there offering "United Private Screening" with a clamp in which to mount a tablet or other device. After staring at the thing for 20 minutes post take-off like an idiot, thinking "are they going to hand out players for these, or...?" Eventually I pulled out the Hemispheres magazine and read through the IFE section, whereupon I realized "oh, you need to bring you own device."

I spent a few minutes fiddling around on my Galaxy tablet. Basically, if you want IFE from UA, you need a) your own device, b) to download their app BEFORE take-off, or c) you're out of luck, pay to use their WiFi, THEN download the app.

This whole process made just made me scratch my chin and go "huh?" It didn't make much sense to me. Why get rid of seatback TV screens, Channel 9, and in-flight audio systems? I suppose one could say it's easier on UA just to offer a streaming service as opposed to actual equipment, plus one could offer more options that way. Others of course can make the argument that many travelers bring their own tablets/smartphones with their own entertainment on them already. In my mind, UA's approach reads a lot like this:

"We're getting rid of real IFE entirely to cut down on costs."
"It's easier on us just to broadcast streaming services under the assumption that everyone has their own device already - why not use it."
"F*** you, bring your own d*** device and try to figure out our system yourself. Have fun with that, but by the way - you suck."

What say you all? Are true IFE systems on their way out the door these days? What about other US airlines? (I've only ever had occasion to fly UA these last 2 years.)
 
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XAM2175
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:45 pm

AlnessW wrote:
Why get rid of seatback TV screens, Channel 9, and in-flight audio systems?


To save money. Not offering in-seat IFE reduces weight, reduces maintenance requirements (both planned and unplanned), and eliminates the problem of the in-seat system becoming outdated.

It's a trend being seen for the most part world-wide on short-haul flights.

AlnessW wrote:
Above all I couldn't get over the fact that I was flying on United jets branded with Continental logos


Please, don't start on this.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:01 pm

More of a Travel forum topic. ???
 
AlnessW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:03 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
To save money. Not offering in-seat IFE reduces weight, reduces maintenance requirements (both planned and unplanned), and eliminates the problem of the in-seat system becoming outdated.

Good point, but like I said it still makes me go "huh?" Outdated how, exactly?

XAM2175 wrote:
It's a trend being seen for the most part world-wide on short-haul flights.

Maybe so, but I wouldn't exactly consider cross-country (6+ hours) to be "short-haul"...

XAM2175 wrote:
Please, don't start on this.

HA!! Yeah, that's a good call...not a great kettle of fish to open. :P

WPvsMW wrote:
More of a Travel forum topic. ???

Equipment (or lack thereof...) onbaord aircraft = technical?? Someone should correct me if I'm wrong on that, though.
 
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XAM2175
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:44 pm

AlnessW wrote:
Outdated how, exactly?

Simple: you install a wonderful fancy-pants top-of-the-line seatback IFE system tomorrow. Ten - or maybe even five - years later and it's like a black-and-white 15" CRT compared to the 50" OLED LCD 3D VR systems that have become the new top-of-the-line.

Whereas if you don't install anything beyond a streaming system then keeping up with the technological Joneses becomes the customer's problem.

AlnessW wrote:
Maybe so, but I wouldn't exactly consider cross-country (6+ hours) to be "short-haul"...

US airlines are special in this regard, in the sense that domestic travel for you lot really is just a competition to see what lows passengers will accept in pursuit of a cheap ticket.
If I recall UA's operations at the moment correctly as may have had your expectations set slightly too high when selecting the 777, because while yes it is a long-haul aircraft for most operators it is simply a high-capacity aircraft for others, and UA have a number configured for domestic use along those lines.

AlnessW wrote:
Equipment (or lack thereof...) onbaord aircraft = technical?? Someone should correct me if I'm wrong on that, though.

The technical reasons supporting a decision to stop offering in-seat IFE are indeed technical, oddly enough :P
The philosophy of IFE offerings overall and the customer experience attached to those decisions do probably better belong in Polls and Preferences, in the same way that the 787's electrochromic windows are a technical topic when the question is about how they work, and preferences topic when the question is about how they're used.
 
Yikes!
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:53 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
More of a Travel forum topic. ???


Maybe not as IFE's are the vehicle by which most airlines deliver their safety briefings and passenger announcements (overriding IFE content).

False economy?
 
spacecadet
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:14 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
AlnessW wrote:
Outdated how, exactly?

Simple: you install a wonderful fancy-pants top-of-the-line seatback IFE system tomorrow. Ten - or maybe even five - years later and it's like a black-and-white 15" CRT compared to the 50" OLED LCD 3D VR systems that have become the new top-of-the-line.

Whereas if you don't install anything beyond a streaming system then keeping up with the technological Joneses becomes the customer's problem.


Yeah, until connectors change, wireless standards change, resolutions and consumer expectations rise to the point that the on-board streaming can't handle it, etc.

It's six of one, half a dozen of the other. Requiring customers to bring their own device doesn't get around the obsolescence problem, because the airline's system still needs to interface with all those devices, and then serve the data to them in a way that's seamless and matches what customers see on their devices from other streaming services (ie. how's it gonna look for an airline when everybody's got a 4K tablet and they're streaming 720p or even 480p content?).

Already I've flown on airliners that only have USB-A plugs for devices. Great, my devices all use USB-C and came with USB-C cables on both ends. So thanks for nothing. If the airline just had its own IFE system, I'd have nothing to complain about.
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XAM2175
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:20 pm

spacecadet wrote:
Requiring customers to bring their own device doesn't get around the obsolescence problem


Except that it makes it much easier to get around, because replacing the media server and wireless access point is a hell of a lot easier than scores of at-seat controllers and potentially hundreds of screens per aircraft.

As to power supplies for personal devices, all of my USB-C cables have normal USB on the other end. Never seen a double-ended USB-C lead, in fact.

And regardless of that, keeping abreast of moving standards in power sockets is something that arguably would still be necessary even with seatback IFE, given the number of people who may wish to use their own devices anyway.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:42 am

Yikes! wrote:
WPvsMW wrote:
More of a Travel forum topic. ???


Maybe not as IFE's are the vehicle by which most airlines deliver their safety briefings and passenger announcements (overriding IFE content).


I'll admit that the cartoony safety briefings are more entertaining than hearing a read briefing, at least the first time you watch the cartoon/comedic rendition. However, watching the flight leader/purser/head FA read the briefing is more engaging than the second and successive viewings of the cartoon. ;) They usually are very focused as if missing a word carries a penalty. Oh wait... it does.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:53 am

Honestly I don't get the fuss with not having IFE & using your own devices. Everybody have their own iPhone whatevers etc so why is it such a problem.

I remember trying out AS's WiFi Streaming services on my iPhone 4S and I was perfectly sated.
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Starlionblue
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:17 am

Agreed. Ten years ago things were different, but nowadays most people have at least smartphone with them. Installing a streaming server and distributing content over WiFi is trivial compared to the cost and weight of screens in every seatback, and the boxes to run the screens.

For a "premium" product, however, IFE still makes sense.
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mandala499
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:45 pm

For short haul, IFE is a a cost that troubles many. The weight means lost revenue and additional fuelburn.
Getting rid of that, can save a LOT.
However once you go between 3 - 6 hours, the BYOD vs seatback IFE evens out. But above 6, seatback IFE wins hands down.

The future of IFE is both Streaming to your own device (BYOD) and also seat-centric seatback IFE (where your IFE device is basically a tablet)... server centric IFE (where the everything is on the onboard server and your IFE is just like a pass through terminal) is getting some good competition. Legacy server-centric IFEs are heavy... updating them was cumbersome, etc, and the list goes on and on... And yeah, replacing these server centric IFEs are expensive. Seat-centric IFEs are cheaper, and BYOD is obviously the easiest to update.

spacecadet wrote:
It's six of one, half a dozen of the other. Requiring customers to bring their own device doesn't get around the obsolescence problem, because the airline's system still needs to interface with all those devices, and then serve the data to them in a way that's seamless and matches what customers see on their devices from other streaming services (ie. how's it gonna look for an airline when everybody's got a 4K tablet and they're streaming 720p or even 480p content?).

That's better than forcing everyone to go and watch 480p or 720p when your device can do 1080p or better.

At the end of the day, it's the beancounter's decision unfortunately.

And oh, wireless standards change? Sure, but the wireless access points cater for older standards.

A high density single class 737 needs about 3-4 low density access points or 2 high density ones. The content data cable only goes between the server and the access points. USB power only to the seat is also much lighter than a legacy server-centric IFE system of power and data distribution... Seat centric is about 60% the weight of the server centric IFE, and the wireless IFE is about 10% the weight.
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Moosefire
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:14 am

I’ll add to United’s defense they’re really good about informing customers to download the United app before the flight. It’s on gate signage, seat cards, and both gate agent and FA announcements.
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AlnessW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:15 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
Whereas if you don't install anything beyond a streaming system then keeping up with the technological Joneses becomes the customer's problem.

Makes sense, I suppose.

XAM2175 wrote:
may have had your expectations set slightly too high when selecting the 777

Oh, very, VERY much so - I don't think I could have worded that much better myself! As you mention, it didn't feel much different than a short-haul US flight - too many passengers, too many bags onboard, gate areas too crowded, no real cabin service, etc.

XAM2175 wrote:
The technical reasons supporting a decision to stop offering in-seat IFE are indeed technical, oddly enough

Yikes! wrote:
Maybe not as IFE's are the vehicle by which most airlines deliver their safety briefings and passenger announcements (overriding IFE content).

Well then, which one is it? :)

XAM2175 wrote:
given the number of people who may wish to use their own devices anyway.

Hence airlines not paying as much attention to this?

WPvsMW wrote:
I'll admit that the cartoony safety briefings are more entertaining than hearing a read briefing, at least the first time you watch the cartoon/comedic rendition.

This is probably a topic for a different thread, but I will stand very firmly on my belief that cartoony safety briefings, hip-hop videos, rap songs, etc. are indications of an airline not taking safety seriously.
Goes along the same lines of airlines marketing exit row seats as a luxury, not a responsibility...

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Everybody have their own iPhone whatevers etc so why is it such a problem.

Well, not EVERYBODY but many seem to agree with your perspective on "why such a big deal."

Starlionblue wrote:
For a "premium" product, however, IFE still makes sense.

Does such a thing exist these days, or are you talking about something like first class?

mandala499 wrote:
However once you go between 3 - 6 hours, the BYOD vs seatback IFE evens out. But above 6, seatback IFE wins hands down.

Interesting breakdown!

Moosefire wrote:
I’ll add to United’s defense they’re really good about informing customers to download the United app before the flight.

Why, you work for them or something? :P kidding...
 
Yflyer
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:41 pm

AlnessW wrote:
There was a label on there offering "United Private Screening" with a clamp in which to mount a tablet or other device.


I flew on one of those domestic 777-200s to Hawaii last year, and I have to say I hated those clamps. I'm sure it depends on what type of device you have, but with my iPhone 6 no matter how I positioned my phone the clamp would either end up pressing on the power button and cause the phone to keep trying to power off, or if I rotated it 180 degrees it would press on the volume button and set my phone to mute. In order to actually use it to watch a movie I had to make an improvised shim out of a folded up piece of paper to prevent the clamp from pressing any buttons.
 
AlnessW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:04 pm

Yflyer wrote:
I flew on one of those domestic 777-200s to Hawaii last year, and I have to say I hated those clamps.

A timely reminder of what aircraft I should NOT opt to fly on again (per above)...especially not if I ever go to Hawaii!!

Yflyer wrote:
I'm sure it depends on what type of device you have, but with my iPhone 6 no matter how I positioned my phone the clamp would either end up pressing on the power button and cause the phone to keep trying to power off, or if I rotated it 180 degrees it would press on the volume button and set my phone to mute. In order to actually use it to watch a movie I had to make an improvised shim out of a folded up piece of paper to prevent the clamp from pressing any buttons.

I never really fiddled with mine but I can absolutely imagine the scenario you outline. My iPhone is a 7+ but I also have an 8" Samsung Galaxy Tab E which normally travels inside its own wireless keyboard case, but it too has buttons on the side which I suspect could easily be pressed by such a clamp.

I forget, do these non-seatback IFE aircraft have power outlets? If not, that's an even bigger middle finger from the airline - "not only do you have to bring your own device, but you also have to rely on its battery for the duration of the flight, assuming of course you even boarded with a full battery!"
 
Yflyer
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:43 pm

AlnessW wrote:
I forget, do these non-seatback IFE aircraft have power outlets? If not, that's an even bigger middle finger from the airline - "not only do you have to bring your own device, but you also have to rely on its battery for the duration of the flight, assuming of course you even boarded with a full battery!"


Yes, there are power outlets, although as I recall in economy there are only two outlets per three seat section in most rows, so if everyone wants to use them there might not be enough to go around. I was lucky and managed to snag seat 48B, which it right where the cabin narrows from 3-4-3 to 2-4-2, so I was sitting in a 2 seat section but there were 3 seats in front of me. Since the outlets are between the seats I think that and 48K/L might the only group of seats in economy that have one outlet per person.
 
AlnessW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:15 pm

Yflyer wrote:
Yes, there are power outlets, although as I recall in economy there are only two outlets per three seat section in most rows, so if everyone wants to use them there might not be enough to go around. I was lucky and managed to snag seat 48B, which it right where the cabin narrows from 3-4-3 to 2-4-2, so I was sitting in a 2 seat section but there were 3 seats in front of me. Since the outlets are between the seats I think that and 48K/L might the only group of seats in economy that have one outlet per person.

Good catch...can only imagine otherwise!

Anyone know of other US airlines slashing away at IFE, TV screens, etc. like this?
 
Kno
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:28 pm

AlnessW wrote:
Quick backstory here before I begin - growing up, I would spend summers on the east coast hence I pretty much remember flying United PDX-ORD-MHT (and back) with my mom and family for as long as I can recall. Everything felt so simple back then (but maybe I'm remembering wrong) - no web check-in, no fees to drop off bags at the ticket counter, no fuss boarding the flight, etc. etc. More so, I DO remember quite vividly plugging my headphones into the armrest audio jack. I would listen mostly to the flight deck on Channel 9 as well as the "McDonaldland Radio" (or whatever that was called), both of which seemed to be offered on most all UA flights. (Anyone able to clarify?) And really, for an 8-or-so-year old kid who was into airplanes, few things in the entire WORLD are cooler than listening to live air traffic control as it was happening and radio-style banter between McDonaldland characters.

This last summer, I spent a week in New Hampshire and when booking the trip, made a special point of flying United PDX-ORD-BOS just like old days. Above all I couldn't get over the fact that I was flying on United jets branded with Continental logos...... I had a great trip but my experience overall with UA in 2018 was not a fun one (I'll probably go into this farther in a trip report). Then for my flight home, I booked BOS-SFO-PDX namely because BOS-SFO had the option of a Boeing 777-200. I was expecting a lovely flight on a large, long-haul aircraft with all the fixings. That was not the case.

For the sake of this thread, I couldn't help but notice the lack of TV screens in the seatbacks. There was a label on there offering "United Private Screening" with a clamp in which to mount a tablet or other device. After staring at the thing for 20 minutes post take-off like an idiot, thinking "are they going to hand out players for these, or...?" Eventually I pulled out the Hemispheres magazine and read through the IFE section, whereupon I realized "oh, you need to bring you own device."

I spent a few minutes fiddling around on my Galaxy tablet. Basically, if you want IFE from UA, you need a) your own device, b) to download their app BEFORE take-off, or c) you're out of luck, pay to use their WiFi, THEN download the app.

This whole process made just made me scratch my chin and go "huh?" It didn't make much sense to me. Why get rid of seatback TV screens, Channel 9, and in-flight audio systems? I suppose one could say it's easier on UA just to offer a streaming service as opposed to actual equipment, plus one could offer more options that way. Others of course can make the argument that many travelers bring their own tablets/smartphones with their own entertainment on them already. In my mind, UA's approach reads a lot like this:

"We're getting rid of real IFE entirely to cut down on costs."
"It's easier on us just to broadcast streaming services under the assumption that everyone has their own device already - why not use it."
"F*** you, bring your own d*** device and try to figure out our system yourself. Have fun with that, but by the way - you suck."

What say you all? Are true IFE systems on their way out the door these days? What about other US airlines? (I've only ever had occasion to fly UA these last 2 years.)


United has had a fleet of domestic 777s since the 90s which never had seat back IFE it’s not really some new age FU where they are doing away with seat back IFE the domestic 777s were never meant to have it but it certainly would be nice if they did especially since every other plane on the route does.
 
SAAFNAV
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:48 pm

Kno wrote:
United has had a fleet of domestic 777s since the 90s which never had seat back IFE it’s not really some new age FU where they are doing away with seat back IFE the domestic 777s were never meant to have it but it certainly would be nice if they did especially since every other plane on the route does.


Maybe they'll get IFE when you get punctuation.
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Kno
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:49 pm

SAAFNAV wrote:
Kno wrote:
United has had a fleet of domestic 777s since the 90s which never had seat back IFE it’s not really some new age FU where they are doing away with seat back IFE the domestic 777s were never meant to have it but it certainly would be nice if they did especially since every other plane on the route does.


Maybe they'll get IFE when you get punctuation.


Nope - They’re actually waiting until you make valuable contributions to this forum to install IFE.
 
AlnessW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:54 pm

Kno wrote:
United has had a fleet of domestic 777s since the 90s which never had seat back IFE it’s not really some new age FU where they are doing away with seat back IFE the domestic 777s were never meant to have it but it certainly would be nice if they did especially since every other plane on the route does.

AHHH, interesting - I knew UA has always had domestic 777s, but had assumed those had seatback screens. I guess I can't use that excuse anymore as a reason to further thumb my nose at them nowadays. ;) By "especially since every other plane on the route does," are you talking about domestic narrowbodies with seatback IFE, or internationally-configured aircraft?

This information further squashes my once-childhood dream of riding a PM-UA 777 to Hawaii...all the more reason to let that one go and take Hawaiian, eh? :P

SAAFNAV wrote:
Maybe they'll get IFE when you get punctuation.

Kno wrote:
Nope - They’re actually waiting until you make valuable contributions to this forum to install IFE.

Oh man - now THIS is a good one!!
 
Kno
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:15 pm

AlnessW wrote:
Kno wrote:
United has had a fleet of domestic 777s since the 90s which never had seat back IFE it’s not really some new age FU where they are doing away with seat back IFE the domestic 777s were never meant to have it but it certainly would be nice if they did especially since every other plane on the route does.

AHHH, interesting - I knew UA has always had domestic 777s, but had assumed those had seatback screens. I guess I can't use that excuse anymore as a reason to further thumb my nose at them nowadays. ;) By "especially since every other plane on the route does," are you talking about domestic narrowbodies with seatback IFE, or internationally-configured aircraft?

This information further squashes my once-childhood dream of riding a PM-UA 777 to Hawaii...all the more reason to let that one go and take Hawaiian, eh? :P

SAAFNAV wrote:
Maybe they'll get IFE when you get punctuation.

Kno wrote:
Nope - They’re actually waiting until you make valuable contributions to this forum to install IFE.

Oh man - now THIS is a good one!!


I could be wrong but last I checked United offered internationally configured 757s on the route along side its domestic 777s, Delta once had international 757s on the route, I'm not sure if they are now domestic 757s but they should have seat back IFE either way, and the mint planes on Jetblue certainly have setback IFE and are more comparable to a premium offering than a domestic 777. Not sure if AA still flies the route.

Being an aviation nerd I still opt for the 777 on the route anytime I'm headed to SF given the novelty of it being the only domestic 777 scheduled out of BOS - with that said for the vast majority who aren't interested in the novelty it's probably the worst flight you could select on the route given the tighter seats and minimal amenities the domestic 777s have.
 
AlnessW
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:43 pm

Kno wrote:
I could be wrong but last I checked United offered internationally configured 757s on the route along side its domestic 777s, Delta once had international 757s on the route, I'm not sure if they are now domestic 757s but they should have seat back IFE either way, and the mint planes on Jetblue certainly have setback IFE and are more comparable to a premium offering than a domestic 777.

That's cool (and a good tip), even more so if it's true UA metal like my 777 was. I think I will do either DL or AA for my next vacation to BOS this winter, hence I appreciate the info - thank you!

B6 has a seasonal direct flight to PDX that I've taken once or twice - redeye eastbound, evening departure westbound (no getting up early, and you still get a full day to spend at each origin). Plus the amenities are superb, as you mention.

Kno wrote:
Not sure if AA still flies the route.

You mean BOS-SFO? Not that I know of - last I recall AA is ORD, MIA, DFW, LAX, plus the old US Airways hubs (and old US Air Shuttle to JFK/LGA). They did LHR with a 777 at one point as well, not sure if that's still the case or just seasonal.

Kno wrote:
Being an aviation nerd I still opt for the 777 on the route anytime I'm headed to SF given the novelty of it being the only domestic 777 scheduled out of BOS - with that said for the vast majority who aren't interested in the novelty it's probably the worst flight you could select on the route given the tighter seats and minimal amenities the domestic 777s have.

VERY well put and I'm basically in your exact same shoes - the rest of my family thumbed their noses at me for booking that itinerary. ("Why not just take the direct flight on Alaska Air like everyone else would?") ;) Is that in fact the only domestic 777 (or domestic widebody) route out of BOS these days?? If so, cool - I'm even more glad I snagged it when I did, even though I had my expectations set slightly too high as XAM2175 pointed out earlier.

It's a very big give-and-take though, as you point out - you get the novelty of a 777 but have to take the lack of amenities and deal with crowded cabin. Still not 100% sure I would do it again, or if this was a one-off for the memory books...we'll see.
 
Kno
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:18 pm

AlnessW wrote:
Kno wrote:
I could be wrong but last I checked United offered internationally configured 757s on the route along side its domestic 777s, Delta once had international 757s on the route, I'm not sure if they are now domestic 757s but they should have seat back IFE either way, and the mint planes on Jetblue certainly have setback IFE and are more comparable to a premium offering than a domestic 777.

That's cool (and a good tip), even more so if it's true UA metal like my 777 was. I think I will do either DL or AA for my next vacation to BOS this winter, hence I appreciate the info - thank you!

B6 has a seasonal direct flight to PDX that I've taken once or twice - redeye eastbound, evening departure westbound (no getting up early, and you still get a full day to spend at each origin). Plus the amenities are superb, as you mention.

Kno wrote:
Not sure if AA still flies the route.

You mean BOS-SFO? Not that I know of - last I recall AA is ORD, MIA, DFW, LAX, plus the old US Airways hubs (and old US Air Shuttle to JFK/LGA). They did LHR with a 777 at one point as well, not sure if that's still the case or just seasonal.

Kno wrote:
Being an aviation nerd I still opt for the 777 on the route anytime I'm headed to SF given the novelty of it being the only domestic 777 scheduled out of BOS - with that said for the vast majority who aren't interested in the novelty it's probably the worst flight you could select on the route given the tighter seats and minimal amenities the domestic 777s have.

VERY well put and I'm basically in your exact same shoes - the rest of my family thumbed their noses at me for booking that itinerary. ("Why not just take the direct flight on Alaska Air like everyone else would?") ;) Is that in fact the only domestic 777 (or domestic widebody) route out of BOS these days?? If so, cool - I'm even more glad I snagged it when I did, even though I had my expectations set slightly too high as XAM2175 pointed out earlier.

It's a very big give-and-take though, as you point out - you get the novelty of a 777 but have to take the lack of amenities and deal with crowded cabin. Still not 100% sure I would do it again, or if this was a one-off for the memory books...we'll see.


Hah I'm in the same boat. My family and friends never understand my desire to book certain flights for specific planes. AA did fly BOS-SFO for a long long time, on 767s, eventually 757s, and 737s, but that flight is no longer I believe. The 777 BOS-LHR on AA has been gone for years as well.

Delta also flies an international 763 on BOS-SLC, so you do have another widebody option when heading west.
 
AlnessW
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Posts: 667
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Re: IFE in 2019 - Huh?

Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:13 pm

Kno wrote:
Hah I'm in the same boat. My family and friends never understand my desire to book certain flights for specific planes. AA did fly BOS-SFO for a long long time, on 767s, eventually 757s, and 737s, but that flight is no longer I believe. The 777 BOS-LHR on AA has been gone for years as well.

And I know we can't be the only ones on here, either! This indeed sounds a lot like AA's massive downscale from BOS over the years - not surprised LHR is gone now too.

Kno wrote:
Delta also flies an international 763 on BOS-SLC, so you do have another widebody option when heading west.

Nice - eastbound too, or just BOS-SLC? I'll check that out as well... Do you live in Boston?

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