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Hawaiian Airlines, beginning September 1st, will replace its in-flight entertainment systems on some of its routes with iPad minis. This marks the first time that a United States-based airline will offer iPads as in-flight entertainment solutions.

The change will take place on all 767-300 aircraft. Across 14 planes and 14 routes ranging between Hawaii, the continental United States, and countries in Asia, 1500 iPad minis will be deployed:

“Hawaiian Airlines‘ signature on-board hospitality is already very popular with travelers, but we wanted to go even further to ensure our customers’ travel experience is more enjoyable,” said Blaine Miyasato, Hawaiian Airlines vice president of product development. “With the help of Bluebox Avionics, we’re building on our acclaimed inflight service by incorporating the latest in popular consumer tech products to enhance our in-flight entertainment options.”
The iPad minis will be loaded up with the ability to access several recently released movies, TV shows, and various games. The iPad mini access will be free on Hawaiian Airlines’s Business Class, but it will be offered at an additional charge for other seating tiers. The iPad mini will cost $15 if pre-reserved and $17 if requested during the flight. These iPad minis, specifically, will be replacing the airline’s old portable entertainment systems, which also were priced at $15 per flight.
The iPad mini is available on the following routes:
Hawaiian Airlines currently operates the wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300 aircraft between Honolulu and Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, Phoenix in the U.S.; Fukuoka and Sendai, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Brisbane, Australia; Papeete, Tahiti; and Pago Pago, American Samoa. In addition, Hawaiian Airlines B767 routes also include service between Kahului, Maui and San Jose, Oakland and Seattle.
Of course, this is not the first time that the iPad has found itself in the field of aviation. Earlier this year, JetBlue and American Airlines began equipping its pilots and cockpits with iPads to manage mapping tools and other in-flight functionality. A couple of years ago, Australian airline Qantas began equipping its seats with iPads for in-flight entertainment purposes.

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3 Responses to “Hawaiian Airlines to replace entertainment systems with iPad minis”

  1. I’ve flown them once, and was surprised that each seat had USB ports and a pretty robust entertainment system already. Nice.

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  2. Replace? No, I read at the press release that they will put the iPads additionally to the standard system as bonus in flight solution for free for Biz and 15/17 US$ for Ecos’s. But they will not replace old systems. Or am I wrong?

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  3. Adam, the USB ports and entertainment system would be on their newer Airbus 330s. The iPads are being deployed on older Boeing 767s that don’t have on-demand personal entertainment built into the seats (and it would cost tons of money – maybe $40K/plane? – to retrofit them with it).

    Harry, they’ll be replacing DigEplayer portable systems, originally invented by a staffer at Alaska Airlines. Hawaiian’s DigEplayers are older 3-pound models, but even the newest ones are still 2 pounds, so they can load 3-4 iPad minis for the weight of a single DigEplayer. Airlines like saving weight, since it translates to saving fuel.

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