Last month I had to spend quite some times flying long distances in economy class.
Having flew from 8 to 12 hours on different airplanes and airlines, I was able to experience various entertainment systems and different and interfaces.
They all suck!
You may think it’s great to have a mini-computer in front of you to use during the flight, but when you start using the one in front of your seat, you want to cry.
First, the touch screen. It is still a resistive one, this means forget ipad/iphone/android experience. You need to tap with only one finger in a very precise spot, there is no such thing as a multi-gesture touch.
Too bad that 8 out of 10 touches are always received in the wrong area: most of the time the display is badly calibrated or the touch area is so small that you never get it right.
And what about the resolution and screen quality? A tv from the 80s would do a better job with a more clear image! Of course, the aspect ratio is something like 8:6 (random numbers), this means that all the videos you will watch, have been adapted to fit the screen.
Considering that you are on an airplaine, you could even accept all of this, compromises are acceptables in some cases. But nothing can excuse the most un-user friendly navigation interface. Seriously.
You need to see a list of 50-100 movies, browsing it ONE BY ONE!
Yes, on a crappy touch screen, with a very slow response time and an even slower processor to process your inputs, you can’t even choose to see a simple list. No, you have press 100 times the same virtual button to go to the next movie, similar to a cover-flow. On a very bad calibrated display. With a very high response time. Yes IT IS very frustrating.
Did I mention the fact that every single announcement made by the flight crew will interrupt anything you are doing? Yea, not funny.
But let’s assume you have done all of this and you finally have found a movie you want to watch.
So you press play and plug in the headphones. You wait the end of advertise, finally the movie starts, seems promising! The introduction titles and music, you adjust the audio and you start to feel a little bit suspicious. The movie starts and you realize that you can’t really understand what the characters are saying… the audio is so bad, so distorted… You try to raise the volume but this doesn’t work. It makes it worse.
You can’t do anything to improve it, you have only to focus and try to understand as much as possibile, reading the labials and continuosly playing with the volume, up when they speak, down when there is music or a sound effect.
Also the headphones jack plug, it’s not a standard one, it’s a double mono jack, this means that 99 times out of 100 you have only one speaker working.
It’s such a frustrating time, you want to watch it and understand it and enjoy it but you can only experience half of it.
I recommend everyone to bring a personal tablet with pre-loaded movies and forget the in-flight entertainment system.
The downside is that the tray table is not high enough and you have to bend a little to watch the movie, uncomfortable.
In the era of tablet and touch screens, airplanes are still living in 2001, in the Windows XP era..
Dear airlines,do you know how you can make everyone happy? Just offer wifi.
So far only few airplanes offer in-flight wifi.
Only one of my flights was offering it, 30 dollars for 30mb. I was happy like a kid. I don’t need much data, I just check emails, chat, read news and do some work!
Everyone will be more than happy to be able to access internet. And you will make a tons of money. It’s a win win scenario.