United to offer free Ipod to inflight entertainment functionality

I’ve seen more than a few people flying around staring at their tiny Ipod screens, chortling along to Family Guy or The Sopranos and always wondered if it was worth it. It seems like such a small screen would be difficult to pay attention too.

Lo, this week, United Airlines announced a solution. They’ll be offering free connections between their Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system and your Apple gadget of choice so that you can stream your favorite video into your seatback LCD. So rather than watching Lethal Weapon 3 (again) on your transatlantic flight you can actually pump the entire season of The Big Bang Theory through your chair.

Naturally, the feature will be only available for First and Business class passengers — you’ll still be stuck in coach paying 19$ for a stale croissant and 6 ounces of tomato juice. It’s also running only on select transatlantic flights, for now.

Does anyone else see the potential abuse for this system? I’m sure airline passengers have all of the sense and grace in the world, but it only takes one joker with a raunchy hot sex video jamming on his screen to make the entire F cabin suddenly very very uncomfortable.

And is it really worth it? What does it take to pump through your video?

  • An Ipod
  • That plays video
  • Aptitude to load and watch video
  • Preference to watch your video vs. the IFE

My feeling that the intersection of all of those sets is in the 20 – 30 year old male demographic, which, incidentally is not the same demographic in which first class passengers lie.

Hey, we’ll see what happens though. Maybe passengers will like it so much that they roll out the service to coach. I’m still not buying an Ipod.