WestJet swapping out TVs for tablets
Sandra Hermiston & Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, April 5, 2013 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 5, 2013 9:21PM PDT
WestJet is scrapping its seatback televisions on some of its flights, instead offering passengers the opportunity to rent a tablet.
It’s part of the company’s in-flight entertainment system that’s currently available on seven aircraft for flights longer than three hours and 20 minutes.
Passengers can rent a tablet preloaded with movies and television shows for $10 with basic ear bud headphones or $17 when paired with premium ear bud headphones.
The company says it is testing the tablet system because most travelers already bring their own device on board. As well, WestJet’s satellite TV was running into problems and losing its signal when flights traveled one hour south of the U.S. border.
Removing the seat-back systems will also shed weight from each aircraft, resulting in better fuel economy and a significant cost savings and the onboard server will offer more shows, movies and games.
WestJet is still in the testing phase and is requesting passenger feedback before it decides to go ahead with the tablet rental program on all of its flights.
The majority of flights within Canada will continue to have live satellite seatback TVs provided by Bell TV.