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Steveo13

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2011
114
37
South Carolina
Thinking about getting an iPad Pro 12.9. I travel on a lot planes for work and want to know if it is to big to sit comfortably and watch movies/tv. Does anyone have experience on that?
Thanks everyone.
 

ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,986
10,726
There is no perfect answer for this, but it depends on airline and passenger class you travel in. Some airlines have a bit more space in economy than others, put it that way. Some users reported that they had issues, especially when using a case, to stand the large iPad on their tray tables. It's about the size of a smaller notebook, so if you think your preferred airlines have enough space for a notebook computer, an iPad should be ok.
 
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RevTEG

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2012
1,353
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San Jose, Ca
I travel extensively internationally for work and haven't had any issues using my 12.9 on planes. It fits fine on the seat tray. I use the Apple smart keyboard as well. That setup has worked great for me. It transitions well between entertainment and getting work done on the seat tray.

On a side note... I'm not the greatest typer in the world and find using the keyboard on night flights a little more difficult with no backlighting.

Also, I run a charity relief organization so I always fly economy to save money. So my experience is more from an international coach seating perspective.
 

sracer

macrumors G4
Apr 9, 2010
10,347
13,156
where hip is spoken
I took my 12.9 iPad Pro w/ASK on a trip and I found it too large to use comfortably on the plane. With the seat in front reclined, the iPP is too close to use comfortably and even watching videos was a bit of a strain since it was so close. But that's me, others seems to have no problems. #shrug
 

SparkFlash

macrumors 6502
Feb 15, 2013
368
131
Michigan
I just took a round trip flight from Detroit to Los Angeles and brought my 12.9 iPad for the first time. Ill be honest, it was not as comfortable as I would've liked. I think the 9' makes much more sense for a traveler. Good luck!
 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
336
Los Angeles
I took my 9.7 iPad Air 2 on the flight from Los Angeles to NYC few years ago just to watch movies. It was okay with the seat in front reclined. I wondered about 12.9 iPP for my future flight trip.
 

hovscorpion12

macrumors 68030
Sep 12, 2011
2,749
2,748
USA
I have both the Apple keyboard and Logitech's connect keyboard. I'd prefer Logitech's only because it has better support when moving especially on a plane or bus.
 

Coolpher

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2008
318
130
Seattle,WA
I went on a trip to Hawaii with my 12.9 iPad Pro and I had no problems watching movies or typing when you put the smart keyboard into movie mode the screen stands more straight up then if you're in keyboard mode it's more reclined back obviously you use headphones but the sound quality of the four speakers is great I would say amazing over any tablet I've owned in the past
 

bufffilm

Suspended
May 3, 2011
4,227
2,536
The amount of space to put the iPad will vary from airline from airline and how much the seat in front is reclined, not to mention if you fly classes other than coach.

It's impossible to say whether the 12.9 will comfortably work for you.

Generally, airlines are looking to cram more people in a given amount of space now more than ever.

I'd go smaller than larger for airplane use...so 9.7" is the more flexible of the two.
 

darknyt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2009
604
98
I haven't had a flight domestically or internationally yet in the past year or so of use that I couldn't use it on. Some better than others. Just did a 20 hour flight to Asia and never bothered to turn on in flight video screen. Which was tiny even on newer upgraded delta flights compared to my IPP.

The other question is if the stewardesses will make you stow it on takeoff/landing. So far I've found a direct correlation between the age of the stewardess and their perspective on this. I'll let you guess the result ..
 
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bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
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The Village
As others have said, it's all relative, but here are some of my observations:
  • At best, the 12.9" Pro is at the maximum size for use in an airplane seat (unless flying first class).
  • The 12.9" Pro is best used held landscape (YMMV) - I usually draw in portrait and given the space limitations, portrait was not comfortable
  • A huge impact to use is the person in front of you. Leaning their seat back or pulling it forward impacts the use of the iPad and the Smart Keyboard (which is a BIG reason I hold the iPad instead of trying to rest it on the seat or tray)
  • The size of the people on either side of you can impact usage. I once suffered through a flight where both people on either side of me "overflowed" into my seat - significantly. Beyond other comfort issues, it also limited how much room I had to use the iPad (also I never take a middle seat anymore - it's aisle or window, even if I have to pay for an upgrade).
  • There's also very little room to store it during a flight when not in use. I usually keep it in a backpack at my feet, but they don't really want you to do that (they want it under the seat).
In all, the larger iPad can be difficult to travel with. If you travel often, then you'll get used to it. If you travel occasionally, it may be an annoyance every single time.

Having said that, I love having the larger ipad with me for the REST of my trip.

Also of note - it's wonderful on a train!

The other question is if the stewardesses will make you stow it on takeoff/landing. So far I've found a direct correlation between the age of the stewardess and their perspective on this. I'll let you guess the result ..

I've travelled both internationally (twice) and domestically (Eight times) over the past year with the iPad Pro 12.9" and have never been told to stow it. Your mileage may vary, but as long as you're being respectful I don't think they care.
 
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sracer

macrumors G4
Apr 9, 2010
10,347
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where hip is spoken
As others have said, it's all relative, but here are some of my observations:
  • At best, the 12.9" Pro is at the maximum size for use in an airplane seat (unless flying first class).
  • The 12.9" Pro is best used held landscape (YMMV) - I usually draw in portrait and given the space limitations, portrait was not comfortable
  • A huge impact to use is the person in front of you. Leaning their seat back or pulling it forward impacts the use of the iPad and the Smart Keyboard (which is a BIG reason I hold the iPad instead of trying to rest it on the seat or tray)
  • The size of the people on either side of you can impact usage. I once suffered through a flight where both people on either side of me "overflowed" into my seat - significantly. Beyond other comfort issues, it also limited how much room I had to use the iPad (also I never take a middle seat anymore - it's aisle or window, even if I have to pay for an upgrade).
  • There's also very little room to store it during a flight when not in use. I usually keep it in a backpack at my feet, but they don't really want you to do that (they want it under the seat).
In all, the larger iPad can be difficult to travel with. If you travel often, then you'll get used to it. If you travel occasionally, it may be an annoyance every single time.

Having said that, I love having the larger ipad with me for the REST of my trip.

Also of note - it's wonderful on a train!



I've travelled both internationally (twice) and domestically (Eight times) over the past year with the iPad Pro 12.9" and have never been told to stow it. Your mileage may vary, but as long as you're being respectful I don't think they care.
That has been my experiences as well. I found it so uncomfortable that I decided to no longer take the 12.9 iPP with me when I fly, but instead take my 11" MBA + iPadMini 4.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,403
5,247
If you're 600lbs and flying economy you'll possibly struggle with either. 120lbs and flying first class and you'll be fine with either. See how it depends on a few factors?
 

44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
37,642
42,492
I haven't had a flight domestically or internationally yet in the past year or so of use that I couldn't use it on. Some better than others. Just did a 20 hour flight to Asia and never bothered to turn on in flight video screen. Which was tiny even on newer upgraded delta flights compared to my IPP.

The other question is if the stewardesses will make you stow it on takeoff/landing. So far I've found a direct correlation between the age of the stewardess and their perspective on this. I'll let you guess the result ..

Partly because some flights actually enforce their rules, when other flights, the employee's turn their head. Either way, it's FAA rules. Even if it is annoying.
 

bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,471
1,307
The Village
Partly because some flights actually enforce their rules, when other flights, the employee's turn their head. Either way, it's FAA rules. Even if it is annoying.

Actually, the FAA has given the airline the determination of allowing electronic devices during takeoff/landing (based on the airlines evaluating if it's safe or not). The airline can then say yes or no. To my knowledge, most airlines have said yes. You must still have the device in Airplane mode (you can turn on wifi later in flight) and you still can't use laptops during takeoff and landing.

So you actually can use iPads during takeoff/landing.
 

44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
37,642
42,492
Actually, the FAA has given the airline the determination of allowing electronic devices during takeoff/landing (based on the airlines evaluating if it's safe or not). The airline can then say yes or no. To my knowledge, most airlines have said yes. You must still have the device in Airplane mode (you can turn on wifi later in flight) and you still can't use laptops during takeoff and landing.

So you actually can use iPads during takeoff/landing.

I'm not saying you are right or wrong. But Southwest Airlines would disagree with you. I have flown with them many times and They completely enforce opposite of what you just told me. I'm not shying away from anything, but that's not what I or other passengers were directed to do. Again, each flight carrier may apply differently.
 

bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,471
1,307
The Village
I'm not saying you are right or wrong. But Southwest Airlines would disagree with you. I have flown with them many times and They completely enforce opposite of what you just told me. I'm not shying away from anything, but that's not what I or other passengers were directed to do. Again, each flight carrier may apply differently.

I flew Southwest once - never again. I used my iPad the entire time and wasn't asked to stow it.
According to The Verge, Southwest does indeed allow devices to be used the entire trip.

Having said that, flight crew do have the ability to tell you to do something even if it's in direct conflict with their policy. If I was told to stow my iPad, and I knew that I was in the right with company policy, I would comply AFTER writing down their name and making a note to complain to the airline.
 

44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
37,642
42,492
I flew Southwest once - never again. I used my iPad the entire time and wasn't asked to stow it.
According to The Verge, Southwest does indeed allow devices to be used the entire trip.

Having said that, flight crew do have the ability to tell you to do something even if it's in direct conflict with their policy. If I was told to stow my iPad, and I knew that I was in the right with company policy, I would comply AFTER writing down their name and making a note to complain to the airline.

I think you will find out, guidelines and rules are stretched, because employee's fail to enforce policies and procedures. That said, rule books or the Verge cannot compensate from everyday experiences. But the training also falls on the airline, which starts and ends with them.

That said, Southwest is garbage. But they are very affordable and their flight paths are unrivaled. I believe the lack of consistency exhibited from flight to flight is variable, when it should be uniform by my standards.
 

darknyt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2009
604
98
I've travelled both internationally (twice) and domestically (Eight times) over the past year with the iPad Pro 12.9" and have never been told to stow it. Your mileage may vary, but as long as you're being respectful I don't think they care.
Partly because some flights actually enforce their rules, when other flights, the employee's turn their head. Either way, it's FAA rules. Even if it is annoying.
I travel Delta frequently and it depends on how they define a PED per their policy. iPad Pro is supposed to qualify but stewardess can be confused on the issue and you don't get to argue when they are wrong. They are slowly getting better but I have to be careful when they walk by to be sure I'm holding it like an ipad, not doing something that could confuse it being a laptop. The older stewardesses are generally clueless about it.

Per Delta:
"PED use on the ground and during takeoff and landing should be limited to small, lightweight devices less than 2 lbs. These devices should be of a size that could easily be secured in a seat pocket without exceeding the designed weight capacity of 3 lbs. including all contents of seat pocket (safety card, Sky magazine, airsickness bag) and not impede emergency egress to the aisle."

Why Is Delta Able To Make This Change?
FAA regulations regarding the use of PEDs during flight have essentially remained unchanged since the 1960s. This has increasingly become more challenging due to changes in technology and passenger expectations. Today, the FAA allows carriers to expand PED use as long as the proper testing and analysis is conducted.

We have completed testing to ensure the safe operation of passenger portable electronic devices during all phases of flight.
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,986
10,726
I'm not saying you are right or wrong. But Southwest Airlines would disagree with you. I have flown with them many times and They completely enforce opposite of what you just told me. I'm not shying away from anything, but that's not what I or other passengers were directed to do. Again, each flight carrier may apply differently.

From experience it's as you suspected, each airline handles it differently.
 

Saturn1217

macrumors 65816
Apr 28, 2008
1,301
948
I used my iPad Pro 12.9 recently on a coach flight. I think if you use it with a case that has a built in stand it is fine. My issue was I didn't have a stand and holding the iPad up at the proper angle got tiring after a while.

I will say that I was switching between cleaning up some Meeting notes for work and watching Netflix during the flight. I was able to get a lot done on my iPad and it was really nice to not have to put it away during take off and landing (like you would with a laptop).
 

pesos

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2006
689
193
FWIW Hawaiian Airlines now uses 12.9" IPPs as their IFE solution in their recently redone first class cabin.

Pros:
1) you are free to hold the ipad/have it on your lap if you like
2) the interface is super responsive and makes it easy to jump around to exactly where you'd like to be in your content (if you've ever had to ff or rewind a lot on a traditional IFE system it can be atrociously slow)
3) great screen quality

Cons:
1) it's a while before they hand them out, and they collect them on the earlier side so that they can clean and charge them
2) the holder that pops out to hold them in front of you is a poor design (even after they fixed the most egregious flaws on it) and makes it difficult to get in and out of the seat

Overall not a bad solution and of course it's quite upgradeable and avoided the extra weight and hassle of rewiring the cabin. For my own purposes though I much prefer to use my SP4 - my IPP typically stays in my bag during flights.
 
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