Free iPads to be provided in flight for Qantas customers

Taking in-flight entertainment to new levels, Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, has announced that it will provide its customers with free iPads on selected routes.

Customers will be able to use the iPad devices to access their choice of content from a menu that will be available during the flight. The airline said that it would offer the iPads without any extra charge on its B767 aircraft. The wireless QStreaming in-flight entertainment service may be accessed for free by users via the iPads in both the economy and business class areas of the aircraft. The service is to be offered only on selected flights. The company said that it had already fitted a B767-300 aircraft with the technology needed to support the initiative. More flights would be fitted with the required infrastructure in 2012.

Similar services are also being offered by sister airline, Jetstar, but on Jetstar flights a fee is charged for the iPad. While Jetstar offers iPads that are pre-loaded with content, Qantas will stream its content using WiFi. The airline said that its central server holds content that is ’18 times the storage capacity of a 64GB tablet.’ This means that customers will be able to enjoy 200 hours of TV and audio programmes while flying.

The air carrier also has plans to upgrade the technology so that customers will be able to tap into the content using their own smart phone, tablet or laptop. The first aircraft to offer the service will predominantly operate on east coast routes as well as services to Perth.