Bring Your Own Device to Airplane

Malaysian Airlines’ new upholstery and phone/tablet as Personal Entertainment Device

When I was aboard the Malaysian Airlines B737 plane going back to Jakarta last Saturday, I noticed something different.

The first thing that stuck on my eyes was the planes’s new blue seat and upholstery which look slim and modern.

But apparently the difference was not only the color and form. There was a difference, which might change what the airplane industry offer the entertainment to their passengers, particularly in economy class.

Once I sat on my seat, I immediately notice there was no personal in-seat monitor, which you may expect from a flagship airline. Instead you found a cover which if you opened, it formed a flat platform in which you can rest your phone or tablet as your personal entertaiment device during flight.

You can read the step-by-step instructions on the seat:

  • Activate flight mode
  • Activate Wi-Fi and select MHstudio
  • Connect to Mhstudio.streamboard.com
  • And reminder to put on headphones so you don’t annoy your fellow passengers
The instructions on airplane seat

I followed the instruction, and then I realized: this is the new way of inflight personal entertainment. While most of passengers bring phones and/or tablets, Malaysian Airlines think why don’t each passenger use their own devices. The contents, be it movie, music, magazines or games are streamed through the provided Wi-Fi connection.

Unfortunately l the contents are limited to what Malaysian Airlines provide. You can’t use the Wi-Fi to access outside internet. That would be an added selling point though. I’m sure passengers won’t mind if they use their personal devices if they can use their phones or tables for accessing internet. As right now, I’m not sure that this is compensated with the reduced flight tickets.

However, the other issue I’m contemplating with, is if internet becomes a standard facility in flight, this will remove our “flight mode” as “silent mode”. Previously I enjoyed the time during the flight as the time without distractions from notifications from outside world. I can rest our mind during the flight. I can enjoy the quiet time for reading the book. Without feeling the need to respond to those notifications. Especially those related to work.

So while I’m welcoming the idea to use my own phone or tablet as personal entertainment device during the flight, I’m not sure if I want the internet access to be widely available to all passengers in all of our flights. Bring down more on the ticket fare, please.

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