Recently I wrote positively about routes operated by wide body aircraft when traveling short haul routes but there are also drawbacks at some airlines who operate these flights without in seat entertainment.
Especially in Economy Class it’s absolutely not a given to have your personal in seat entertainment system, even if your flight is operated by a wide body plane.
I had this experience yesterday when I got myself into the situation of flying Egyptair Economy Class from Abu Dhabi to Cairo which was operated by an Airbus A330-200.
As can be seen from the picture above there was no in-seat video available and monitors were only installed in the middle row making it impossible to watch anything played on there if you sit in on the side rows A/C & H/K.
I chose this flight for many reasons. For one I’ve never flown Egyptair before and wanted to see how bad it really is. Apart from the non existent ISE and the 1:30h delay as well as a bus arrival in Cairo it wasn’t too bad.
I ended up booking Economy Class because it’s hard to beat a 4 hour flight for 104$ one way price. Business Class would have been 7 times as much on both Etihad and Egyptair and that would have been a complete waste of money or miles. As I stayed at the Le Meridien Terminal 3 last night I preferred to arrive at the same terminal so only Egyptair was really a good choice.
While newly delivered aircraft nowadays are mostly equipped with in seat video to keep passengers entertained, it used to be the norm for a very long time that entertainment in Economy Class only comes through overhead monitors every few rows. I remember these dreadful Lufthansa Economy B747 flights on so many long haul routes in the early days of my flying.
This particular experience wasn’t all that bad because it was just a short 4h flight and I slept most of the time. Nevertheless passengers should be vigilant that even though flights are often operated by Long Haul (Wide Body) Equipment that doesn’t necessarily mean modern interior design and technology.
I like them if widebodies offer a 2-4-2 configuration in coach and I’m able to secure a window or aisle seat on the side to have some extra space. Longer flights are absolutely horrible without in seat video though and be it to just watch the flight show from time to time.
If you’re uncertain about the equipment and interior of your particular flight you should consult the airlines website beforehand that usually offers detailed information (still subject to change on short notice though).