Alaska Airline has not been known to be the airline with the best inflight amenities, but yet they still have some of the most loyal frequent flyers in the US Aviation industry. Their all Boeing 737 fleet is less than exciting with most airplanes lacking powerports and all planes lacking seatback personal televisions (PTVs). The airline heavily invested early in GoGo Wifi and offered bulky digiplayers on long haul flights to passengers in first and those willing to pay in economy. Passengers who didn’t pay for the digiplayers and forgot their books were forced to take part in staring contests with their seatmates and count imaginary sheep to pass time.
Yet as times have changed and technology has evolved, Alaska has decided to opt out of PTVs for a more modern innovation. Instead of installing costly equipment and heavy PTV equipment, Alaska Air is jumping on the streaming technology bandwagon. This will allow travelers to stream TV and movies on their own smart phones, tablets, and laptops.
The new system, called Gogo Vision, will allow customers to use their own laptop, tablet or smart phone to access more than 100 movies, 50 television shows and unique content, personalizing their onboard entertainment experience on Alaska Airlines. Since the movies are installed on stand-alone servers on each aircraft, broadband access to Gogo’s inflight Wi-Fi will not be compromised.
“Offering Gogo Vision across our fleet, along with upgrading most of our Next Generation 737 aircraft with Recaro seats and seat power, will complement our award-winning personal service and make flying even more enjoyable for our customers,” said Joe Sprague, vice president of marketing.
In addition, Alaska announced that the Recaro seat will be installed on ALL 737-800, -900, and -900ER aircrafts by fall 2014, providing passengers with more personal space and 110-volt and USB power outlets.
I think this move by Alaska Airline is smart as it allows passengers who want to enjoy extra amenities: the option to stream movies without the additional costs of adding thousands of mini tvs to planes across their fleet. Furthermore, as a frequent flyer with a Sony 2 in 1 tablet/pc Duo I’d much rather stream something to my 16 inch screen versus watch the same entertainment option on a tiny 7-9 inch in seat monitor
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