For the third episode Vice President of Communications Ron DeFeo interviews Kurt Stache, American’s head of marketing who used to run AAdvantage, about the airline’s inflight product and mostly inflight entertainment.
One tidbit is that they’re planning to have high speed internet on the 767s (and 757s) which tells me they’ve finally (formally) made the decision to keep the older widebodies around for awhile rather than retiring them. I have to think the 767s will get a seat power update too, then.
Stache talks about adding live TV (‘recreating the living room experience’) on aircraft with satellite internet and explains that American is saving hundreds of millions of dollars not putting seat back TVs in planes (not to mention saving weight and thus fuel). They believe seat back TVs will be “obsolete in 3-5 years” of course in the mean time of course families of 5 who don’t have 5 iPads are hosed.
Finally about the need for customers to engage in their streaming content via the airline’s app because of studio digital rights management requirements. Not discussed is that they aren’t able to gain access to the latest first run movies in their streaming deals. American needs to do a better job communicating with customers in advance the need to download their app to access content inflight.
I wasn’t aware that the final decision had been made to (1) keep the 767s, though the bread crumbs have been there for awhile, and (2) add satellite internet to the 767s. American hasn’t really talked up the capability for live TV either. Give it a listen: