Jetstar has had iPads since last year. Qantas is trialling iPads on one plane. Virgin Australia is also getting into the tablets-for-in-flight-entertainment game, but rather than going Apple, it will be using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
In its results announcement late last week, Virgin said that it will be using the tablets for entertainment, though initially that will only be an option for business class customers:
From April, Business Class Guests on board our Boeing 737 and Embraer fleets will experience a new era of inflight entertainment with our offering of Samsung Galaxy tablets loaded with television shows, movies and audio.
Those of us flying cattle class will eventually get the option to view entertainment via Wi-Fi on our own devices, though Virgin has only committed to a “before the end of 2012” data for that one. Like Qantas, there’s no word yet on making that Wi-Fi useful for Internet access.
Qantas’ current trial is also aiming to offer bring-your-own-device entertainment. One thing that does concern me with all these plans is that if you use your own device, you’re also using your own battery (at least on planes without USB charging ports). But I guess we’ll see how big an issue that is during all these different tests.