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United Airlines to Offer iPod and iPhone Connectivity

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United announced today that they have started deploying iPod and iPhone connectivity as part of its in flight entertainment system for certain flights and passengers.
United is the first U.S. carrier to offer iPod and iPhone connectivity to its in-flight entertainment system, enabling customers to enjoy their individual content on a 15.4-inch personal television, all while the iPod or iPhone charges.
Over the next two years, United plans on reconfiguring its entire fleet of "international, widebody aircraft" to incorporate the iPod and iPhone connectivity.

The option will be limited to business class and first class customers only.

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Mykbibby

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2007
545
108
Palm Springs, CA
United announced today that they have started deploying iPod and iPhone connectivity as part of its in flight entertainment system for certain flights and passengers.
Over the next two years, United plans on reconfiguring its entire fleet of "international, widebody aircraft" to incorporate the iPod and iPhone connectivity.

That's awesome! Finally, someone has decided to do that! No more battery issues now!


The option will be limited to business class and first class customers only.

Oh. Well that blows. Don't first class flyers have outlets already to charge their devices?
 
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Rojo

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
1,328
241
Barcelona
I had a feeling it would only be limited to business/first class.

Still... a very cool idea!
 
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pacohaas

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2006
516
3
airlines need to stop spending money on frivolous crap like this and start lowering ticket prices.

+1 for Apple though, you're not going to see a "Zune-plane" any time soon.
 
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QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,492
1,574
Colorado Springs, CO
It's also because only first/business class flyers have their own monitors.
I thought United has 777's that have monitors in the seat backs on long flights. Either way, the airline industry wonders why they are going down hill. Providing these services fleet wide to EVERYONE is a huge selling point. However, the cost would probably be too high for now.

It's too bad part of the problem is inconsistency. Some planes have them, some don't on the same routes. Really retarded if you ask me.

Also, airlines can't really lower ticket prices when Jet-A (fuel) is rising in price.
 
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mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,228
293
Saint Augustine, FL
airlines need to stop spending money on frivolous crap like this and start lowering ticket prices.

+1 for Apple though, you're not going to see a "Zune-plane" any time soon.

Supposing the cost of this upgrade (given that they already have monitors in the seats) is $50 per seat. You could either apply that $50 to the cost of a single tank of fuel, or spend it on something permanent. This permanent new feature would then give United a differential advantage, and if someone with an iphone has a good incentive to fly United. This, in turn, bring them more revenue allowing them to reduce cost via economies of scale.

So, this may actually accomplish lowered ticket prices over the long term.
 
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ipodmylife224

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2005
11
0
Sorry to tell you this, MacRumors, but this is really old news about United. Yes, they did make an official announcement today that they would incorporate iPod and iPhone connectivity into some of their planes, but for months on their website they had a section talking about their new international first and business class, and they clearly described iPod connectivity. And over a year ago, United sent out an email to their frequent fliers in the highest tier that they would be making iPod connectivity.
 
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kkachurak

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2007
213
0
Orlando, FL
All of the Delta Song equipment (which is now a part of the standard Delta fleet) had seat back screens for first class and coach. Herego it'd be nice to see Delta adopt this too and provide iPod connectivity for all passengers. Then they could slowly implement it into older equipment.

It is a cool selling point. I'm usually a Delta customer, but this might convince me to try out United.
 
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crees!

macrumors 68000
Jun 14, 2003
1,921
29
MD/VA/DC
I just flew United this past week and it was a horrible experience. Sparing the details had a 3 hour delay going up and 3 CANCELLATIONS coming home. Like with this iPod/iPhone deal, first class and business come first. When boarding they never asked first for elderly or those who need assistance to board first. Nope, first class and business, with the most miles were their priority. After those 3 cancellations I was switched over to US Airways. They had the decency to ask first for people who need assistance when beginning to board.
 
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Peel

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2004
576
85
Seattle
Awesome!

This seems like a total no-brainer to me, as they already have the monitors installed in their planes. Kinda surprised no one has done this before.
 
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machan

macrumors regular
May 7, 2003
150
0
wisconsin
Misplaced priorities?

Should they maybe focus on improving flight schedules, paying for expensive fuel and raising the bar on safety before getting around to putting the iPod connectors in business/first class? I'm sure plenty of rich D-bags will be really happy about it, but this really doesn't do a thing to improve the quality of an airline ride for the vast majority of passengers. Just sayin'. Flame on, d-bags.
 
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bretm

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2002
1,951
27
I just flew United this past week and it was a horrible experience. Sparing the details had a 3 hour delay going up and 3 CANCELLATIONS coming home. Like with this iPod/iPhone deal, first class and business come first. When boarding they never asked first for elderly or those who need assistance to board first. Nope, first class and business, with the most miles were their priority. After those 3 cancellations I was switched over to US Airways. They had the decency to ask first for people who need assistance when beginning to board.

I always preferred to board last. Why sit in a crapmed seat in a hot airplane with a line of people jostling past when I could sit in the terminal with my feet up sipping a hit coffee in the air conditioning?
 
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stagi

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2006
1,125
0
"The option will be limited to business class and first class customers only."
Weak.
 
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UCLA-Bruin

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2008
75
0
airlines need to stop spending money on frivolous crap like this and start lowering ticket prices.


The rich are drawn to these kind of gimmicks. Where 1st/biz pay a premium, that DOES lower ticket prices for the rest of us. It would be a waste to put the technology in the economy seats. Smart move United.
 
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chicagostars

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2007
121
0
Chicago, IL
um, well . . .

Nice idea, but as others mentioned, this doesn't do much for flyers without the coin to first or business class. (BTW, although it's still an inconvenience, flyers in these classes generally don't have to suffer as much through delays, what with private lounges and all.)

Adding iPod and iPhone connectivity does nothing to fix the woefully flawed business plans that the majority of U.S. based air carriers have.
 
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djrobsd

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2008
798
7
Airlines suck.

They are all so behind the times. They need to get with the program and go fly in Virgin Airways to see what it's all about. Virgin rocks, they already have ipod connectors in all cabins, and individual video screens, and all kinds of other cool stuff including a couple extra inches in legroom. This goes a long way to improve the overall customer satisfaction which in the end will result in loyal customers.
 
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TitoC

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
311
26
That's why I opted to go with Virgin America every time I fly from the east coast to San Francisco twice a year. Man, what a difference! The people are friendly, no lines, the seats are MUCH more comfortable than any piece of junk United, American or Delta ever had, the passengers have (so far) always been very cool and EVERY seat has a 14 inch touchscreen display to do everything from order food, watch satelite TV, watch premium movies to video games. Every seat also has a charger for just about any device (including cell phones, iPods, etc.). The planes are fairly new so no more old 70's crappy airplane to fly in either.

. . . . or, and did I mention the flights have always been about $120 cheaper than anything else out there? Yeah, United can offer FREE iPods for all care, never flying with them or any other crappy airline out there again. Virgin America seems to have their service down pat. Screw the other guys.

. . . and no, I don't work for Virgin America, I just have a very pleasant experience with them every time, which really can't be said for the other guys. Our Airline industry reminds me of what the rail system is like in Russia . . . outdated, falling apart, terrible with service and about 40 years behind everyone else.
 
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TitoC

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
311
26
They are all so behind the times. They need to get with the program and go fly in Virgin Airways to see what it's all about. Virgin rocks, they already have ipod connectors in all cabins, and individual video screens, and all kinds of other cool stuff including a couple extra inches in legroom. This goes a long way to improve the overall customer satisfaction which in the end will result in loyal customers.

Just saw your reply right after I posted mine. Couldn't agree more with you.
 
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bamerican1

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2008
1
0
So, United is going to pay to install iPod connectors for first and business class, but is going to charge coach class customers to check even one bag?

Allow myself to introduce myself. Wile E. Coyote. Supergenius.
 
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Peel

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2004
576
85
Seattle
I always preferred to board last. Why sit in a crapmed seat in a hot airplane with a line of people jostling past when I could sit in the terminal with my feet up sipping a hit coffee in the air conditioning?
I've tried this before, but always seem to end up with no overhead bin space left for my carry-on bag, and I never check my bags if I can help it. Better would be board, put my bags overhead, then plug my iPod in to the entertainment system and chill out, watching a movie while everyone else runs around looking for a spot for their suitcase that isn't 8 rows away from their seat.
 
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MacTheSpoon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2006
514
0
That's pretty cool for the first class/business folks. Hope it trickles down to us peons someday, too.
 
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