It wasn’t long after Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 that several airlines started handing them out to pilots and crew members to help them in their work. Others, such as Qantas and Australia-based Jetstar Airways, have sought to make them part of their in-flight entertainment service.
On Thursday, another carrier – Hawaiian Airlines – joined the club when it announced its intention to deploy 1500 iPad Minis on its 14 B767 aircraft covering 14 routes between Hawaii and the US mainland, Asia and South Pacific. The tablets will be introduced in the coming days.
You’ll notice that the airline, which is partnering with in-flight entertainment system supplier Bluebox Avionics, has gone for the smaller iPad, saving itself a few bucks in the process.
Passengers will be able to choose from 100 hours of the latest Hollywood movies and TV shows as well as a range of games.
Sound good? Well, there’s a slight catch for those sitting in economy. You’ll have to shell out $15 at the gate to get your hands on the device, or $17 once you’re on board. Those in business class are sorted – no extra payment is required.
With tablet ownership on the rise, however, one assumes most passengers these days simply take their own tablet on a flight, with carefully selected content uploaded prior to the day of travel.
Still, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii’s largest and oldest carrier, clearly thinks it’s on to a good thing.
“With the help of Bluebox Avionics, we’re building on our acclaimed in-flight service by incorporating the latest in popular consumer tech products to enhance our in-flight entertainment options,” the carrier’s vice president of product development Blaine Miyasato said in a release.
Of course, passengers without a tablet who don’t want to spend the extra money to rent one can still use the seatback entertainment systems to pass the time. Or you could just look out the window.