American Airlines Eliminates Seatback Inflight Entertainment Screens On Their New Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

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American Airlines has undertaken yet another step to downgrade the inflight experience of their customers as they ordered their new Boeing 737 MAX without inflight entertainment screens in the seat.

Instead the carrier will provide streaming entertainment for which passengers have to bring their own equipment and will have to to pay for the internet access.

Things like these really rub me the wrong way as not every passenger carries his own electronics and even if, sometimes you just want to leave them in your pocket and not deal with the notebook or ipad for some time.

I came across this information while browsing Airways Mag Online (access here).

American Airlines said Tuesday it will not install seat-back entertainment screens on its forthcoming Boeing 737 MAX fleet, due to arrive later this year.

Instead, the Dallas/Ft. Worth-based carrier will offer free entertainment, which will be available to passengers on their electronic devices. American Airlines will provide a library of movies and TV shows, as well as live TV. Customers who buy Internet will be able to stream video content, as the 737 MAX will feature satellite internet from ViaSat. …

“More than 90 percent of our passengers already bring a device or screen with them when they fly,” American told employees in a message. “Those phones and tablets are continually upgraded, they’re easy to use, and most importantly they are the technology that our customers have chosen,” American Airlines said.

American also told employees that IFE screens will remain on planes used for international flights, as well as in its three-class Airbus A321Ts and some single-aisle planes used for specific flights.

The airline expects to receive 4 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2017, which will be deployed mostly within North America.

Add to that that for example a family can hardly drag along electronic devices for each child and adult it makes me shake my head over something like this. Mind you that American has ordered over 100 of the 737 MAX which is a really beautiful airplane but in the end it all depends on the configuration the customer orders.

Conclusion

I don’t need IFE on a flight that is very short and often I just watch the flight show on the screen that shows the current position of the aircraft. Somehow I have the feeling that American won’t just use the aircraft on very short routes of 500 miles and less but also on longer ones which makes it a huge pain in the rear to not have in-seat IFE.

It should be noted that American isn’t the first airline that does this and it’s certainly not limited to North America either. Lufthansa for example has no IFE in any of their seat when it comes to their continental fleet, they offer a Mediathek instead where the passenger can access various news and entertainment.

New aircraft without in-seat entertainment in 2017? Get outta here!

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