Flying between Denver and Palm Springs last month I thought I might pass the time enjoying an in-flight movie.
The problem was, there were no TV screens.
This is just one of the major shifts taking place in the aviation industry that will change the way we think about airline travel, some of it for the better, some for the worse.
As the demand for WiFi in the air increased, the major airlines of the world began researching the best ways to provide this service, and perhaps add a few dollars to their bottom lines as well.
To gain access to viewing on its television free flights, passengers must install a United Airlines app on their iPads or smartphones. Once done free television is accessible, with extra charges only for recently released movies. For full WiFi service there usually also is a hefty charge.
International airlines are moving quickly to adopt this service change.
It is estimated the change will eliminate 1500 pounds of weight from the aircraft, saving fuel in addition to TV installation costs.
Canada’s own Westjet Airlines has moved to this alternative option as it introduces its non-stop flights to London’s Gatwick Airport this spring from six Canadian cities, including Winnipeg.
From an airline perspective this seems a logical move. Over 80 percent of passengers carry some sort of smartphone or tablet device on board. And for those who have not moved into the digital age, Westjet, and other airlines plan to offer rental units.