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Australian airline deploys iPads to provide in-flight entertainment

by Doug Drinkwater

November 9 2011

Jetstar rents out iPads on domestic and international flights
Jetstar rents out iPads on domestic and international flights

Australian airline Jetstar is now renting iPads to passengers for in-flight entertainment on domestic, trans-Tasman and international flights.

The company is offering the iPads from today, and each of the tablets have been pre-loaded with music, TV shows, music videos, games, e-Books, and magazines, all of which are accessible via Jetstar’s custom-built mobile application.

The iPads will be offered to economy passengers between 10 and 15 Australian dollars ($10.25 and $10.50, respectively) – but will only be available for flights with duration of over two hours.

Domestic flights will start from 10 Australian dollars ($10.25 in US dollars) per rental, while longer A330 flights to Singapore and Japan will offer iPads for 12 dollars ($12.30), if pre-booked, or 15 dollars ($15.30), if ordered on-board.

24 iPads will be offered on the A320, a 180-seat plane used for most Jetstar flights, while 30 tablets will be offered on the slighter-bigger A321 plane. 160 iPads will be loaded onto the long-haul A330 flight, which seats over 300 passengers.

Jetstar is using first-generation iPads as well as the iPad 2. These iPads come fitted with a custom case, containing an extra battery, allowing for up to 20 hours of continuous use, and a flip-stand to rest the iPad in a horizontal position.

The cases feature a RFID chip to prevent the devices being stolen and also prevent the user from connecting the tablet to any devices – like a laptop.

Jetstar has signed a "48 hour replacement agreement" with "an authorized Apple repairer" to ensure that faulty iPads are fixed quickly.

Jetstar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas and first trialled the iPad in June 2010, when 30 tablets were used for two weeks on domestic flights.

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