Air India Considers Offering Laptops in Business Class to Make Up for Poor Inflight Entertainment

Air India knows its inflight entertainment offerings lag the industry. They also know that long haul business class loads hover around 50%. So they’re considering giving out laptops to business class passengers.

“In our long haul flights business class can be a money spinner for Air India. Our passenger load factor is only 50 per cent on these flights. We will try to see how to increase that, perhaps offer better quality of services. If our in-flight entertainment is not doing well, then we are thinking of alternatives. Laptops to business class passengers is a possibility,” [the airline’s Chairman] told reporters.

They haven’t decided, apparently, whether to give them out only when the inflight entertainment system isn’t working because on Air India that’s a thing, or if they should make it a standard offering. The airline’s chairman says that while inflight video works well on the airline’s Boeing 787s that’s not so true of older aircraft.

Laptops are an interesting choice, though, as several airlines offer tablets either preloaded with content or with which to stream content off a server on the aircraft.

Air India will take delivery of 3 new Boeing 777s — for which they have short term financing — but they’ll use two of them “for VVIP operations” as opposed to commercial routes. They’re looking to fly to Los Angeles, however. They must deploy these planes because “the airline exists and we have to manage it well.”

Air India Boeing 777-200LR, Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo

This recalls the Checkers burgers commercials that used the slogan, “you gotta eat.” You need food to survive, they offer something which constitutes food, so if you want to satisfy the bare minimum necessary conditions of survival delflying Air India buying Checkers burgers are one way to accomplish that.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Since the load factor is only 50%, can they release more award seats in Biz and First. Even last minute unsold seats would be fine,

  2. The upside, “Sam” (Shreenathmurthy Velauppunatharajan), your IT support guy will fly in the back of the plane and be at the ready to tell you that you need to restart your computer, only.

  3. It’s atually not a bad idea. We flew back from the Phillipines some years back and were given ipads as the inflight system wasn’t working as advertised. Great idea, apart from the fact that they don’t get given out until well into the flight and are retrieved mid movie..

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