It seems the march of Gate-to-Gate In-Flight Entertainment continues, with British Airways now allowing use of its IFE systems through all phases of the flight – take off, cruise and landing.
BA has worked with the CAA, trialling the modified IFE product, and checking safety of using such a product. This will allow BA to deliver the entertainment product beyond the 20 minutes to landing on long haul services
However, there are some interesting little things to watch out for:
- Seats that have screens that fold way will still need to have them stowed for take-off and landing. This precludes the use of this feature in Club World or Exit/Bulkhead Rows
- If you intended to use the IFE on decent, you’ll need to use the BA supplied headphones rather than your own. This is so you can hear the instructions of the crew
- You can use your own headphones during cruise
The new policy went into effect on 1st December 2012, and appears to be functioning through the BA fleet (with some exceptions to some 777-200 aircraft which have yet to be upgraded)
The problem with Gate-to-Gate IFE is the safety case behind it. I can’t help but think that more cables and headsets could imped an evacuation of a plane in an emergency. However, airlines like Air Canada and United seem to run gate-to-gate IFE without an issue so far.
But those those in Economy who need that fix of entertainment, it’s a nice addition. Now if BA could add a few tail-cams to their fleet, I’d be all over this… 😉