Another "First World Problem" Once a Month Movie Rotation is Back

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by avflyer, Mar 19, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    This may not be news, as I just noticed it. UA is back to rotating movie once a month rather than twice. To further really put the screws in (for me as my home A/P is KOA), there is no differentiation between the Hawaii-Mainland rotation and the Mainland rotation. So now I get to watch 5,000 miles of Transformers 10 and the first season of Big Bang Theory. Most of the neighbor island - mainland flying is still on 752 and 753 ghetto birds, so perhaps things are better on the 738s ands 739s, I just don't fly those that often.

    What really kills me about any of this, is that the person most impacted by this is the frequent traveler. So thanks UA for cutting costs in an area that hits your best customers the worst.

    Are we getting close to the bottom yet? Can anyone see it?
     
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    I feel your pain! It doesn't take too many long-haul flights before you've seen all the movies worth watching, and then a book/Ipad certainly comes in handy. That said, I'll gladly send you both different movies to watch in exchange for all those premium ff miles! ;)
     
  3. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    HNL-LAX LAX-EWR on planes (753s) made personally by Gordon Bethune with IFEs from the same time. Same program on both flights - Nebraska, sitcoms and cute animals that can kill you. Seemed fitting that the movie was in B/W on a CRT. The ancient seats in First surprised by not being as uncomfortable as their obvious age implied.
     
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  4. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Have to believe that IFE is likely on its way out, in favor of a PPV model. Less weight (TV screens), another potential revenue stream.
     
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  5. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    The oldest 753s in the fleet are less than 15 years old. And they never have had CRT monitors - they were delivered with LCDs. Now, if you were on a domestic 752, those have CRTs and many are more than 20 years old.
     
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  6. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    And many (maybe most?) passengers are bringing devices on board to provide their own entertainment.
     
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  7. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    Wasn't Nebraska great though?
     
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  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    PPV already here. I was on a long-haul flight on UA a couple of years ago in coach class, where anyone wanting to watch the latest movie releases had to use a credit card (swiped on the screen) to pay for them.
     
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  9. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    That's no longer the case on UA's long haul fleet, and hasn't been since at least March 2012.
     
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  10. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    And why is that? Did UA customers complain loud and clear about this charge? If so, I wonder what else could possible be gained back (reverse exorbitant charges) by customers in this manner?
     
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  11. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    It was something that United, prior to the merger, implemented on their reconfigured three class 777s. Relatively few of those aircraft were reconfigured prior to the merger, so it actually never was implemented on a very large number of aircraft. The same system is still there, and has now been rolled out to all of the three class 777s operating international service. However, the charges were taken away because the policy was set to offer complimentary entertainment in all cabins on long-haul flights. Sure, theoretically, they could implement a fee structure again at some point in the future. All of the aircraft that have on-demand IFE have that capability. But, there's been no hint of UA taking that direction, nor are their competitors moving in that direction at this point in time. I think it's safe to say that for the foreseeable future, entertainment on long-haul international flights will remain free of charge in the main cabin.
     
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  12. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    ssulivan, Thanks for shedding some light on this! Very much appreciated. Now, if only we can get United to "roll back" a few other charges...
    Newscience
     
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  13. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    You are right, one was a 752 with a crt and the second was a 753 with tiny flat panels dropped down from the ceiling. I plead brain strain from the rerunning of the same programs on old screens before my ever aging eyes.
     
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  14. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    A few hundred dropped on a tablet device can provide years of virtually unlimited programming of your choice on board flights, and in HD with pseudo-surround sound through your own headphones (much better quality than UA's). It's a worthwhile investment, and the reason why domestic IFE is going to become more of a dying breed. You get full control over the content, you can watch when you want to watch, get pause, fast forward and rewind capabilities that overhead aircraft systems don't offer, and it only adds a few ounces to your carry on. And, the device can be used for so much more than just watching video while in the air.

    I bought my first tablet last year (Nexus 7 for around $250) and absolutely love it. I'll still watch the DirecTV system if I'm on a UA plane equipped with it and there's something airing I want to watch, or the AVOD IFE if it is available and has something I want to watch. But on any flight with overhead video, if I'm watching a movie, it's on my own device. With so many others doing the same, there's not much reason for UA, or any airline, to keep spending money on frequent rotation of what they air on overhead screens. And, as you admitted, the overhead monitors are often of not-great quality. What I see on my own device is HD, and looks and sounds great.
     
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  15. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    I can't disagree with any of the above. I do however have one comment. IF you are going to offer a service (IFE, Overhead, AVOD etc. etc.) DO IT WELL. Don't half ass it. UAL is feeding us mediocrity and cutting costs and service levels. Not just in entertainment, but in food, quality of employees (outsourcing), boarding facilities, etc. etc. etc. I have a real problem with that.
     
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