There are certainly no shortage of Airlines who are taking to the iPad. But whereas some airlines like Delta and Alaskan Airlines employing iPads to serve as replacements for thick and heavy paper manuals, Australia’s Qantas Airways is flipping the script and running a pilot program (no pun intended) wherein it’s giving iPad 2s to customers to serve as their in-flight entertainment.
Over a 6-week period beginning in October and running through December, Qantas will hand out iPad 2s that will enable fliers to stream movies via the plane’s wi-fi network and a special “Q Streaming” application. The initial trial run, however, will be limited to a single Boeing 767-300 – though the plane will house one tablet for each of the aircaraft’s 254 seats
Qantas says the iPads have the capability to be preloaded to the same level of content as offered on their flagship Airbus A380, although the trial will be restricted to streaming content from a smaller selection.
Towards the end of the initial six week trial, Qantas plans to allow passengers to view the streaming content on their own iPad through a free-to-download Q Streaming app.
And lest any passengers try and take advantage of the ole’ five finger discount, the iPads on-board will be locked down so if anyone leaves with one, either by accident or on purpose, they won’t be able to use it at all.
If the test run proves to be successful, the airline will expand the program to include 10 Boeing 767-300s and may even consider installing iPad brackets into the seats.