American Airlines has offered power to passengers, but US Airways didn’t. In fact, after America West acquired US Airways they removed power from the US Airways planes that already had it. The idea was to reduce weight and save fuel.
It’s been over three years since the American Airlines – US Airways merger. They’ve combined frequent flyer programs and reservation systems. They’ve bought back billions of dollars worth of stock. But most US Airways planes still have the same interiors — no Main Cabin Extra (extra legroom seating in coach) and no seat power. There hasn’t even been an announced plan to change domestic Airbus aircraft other than the A319s.
So as part of the story of their new Boeing 737MAX aircraft they’re sharing that they are not installing screens for video on demand. Instead they’ll stream movies and television shows to personal devices and offer high speed internet.
I actually think this makes sense though I realize it’s not popular with readers.
- The equipment is heavy and burns fuel, it takes up space often legroom. And it’s expensive. It’s the last place I’d want the airline to invest in passenger experience for a largely domestic narrowbody flying short flights.
- You still get entertainment content on demand. You already have the device. You’re watching on your own device instead of the seat back in front of you. I don’t see that as a huge loss, but then I bring my own entertainment anyway rather than putting myself at the mercy of the airline.
And American is assuring not only that we’ll have power at every seat on these planes as well as new A321s, but also that it’s finally a direction they’re headed in for the full fleet.
We expect 50 percent of our domestic narrowbody aircraft to be equipped with power at every seat by the end of 2018, and over 85 percent equipped by the end of 2020
Power at every seat is notable because it means coach seats are no longer sharing power outlets.
I flew on legacy US Airways planes through Charlotte earlier in the week, and I knew I’d be flying through some bad weather. That means I brought my own power brick – a big heavy one to power both my laptop and my phone through two flights and the expectation of a delay.
I’m sad that even four years from now 15% of the fleet [provided they hit their planned timeline!] still won’t have this, but I’m glad there is finally a road map for even some seats on the bulk of the legacy US Airways “basket of deplorables” fleet to have power. Of course they still main cabin extra seating…