My Qantas Shorthaul iPad Experience

I used to regularly fly with Qantas on trips to the UK out of Singapore when they were still flying the Kangaroo flight, but I’d never flown Qantas shorthaul and never seen the much talked about in flight entertainment with an iPad until now.

Qantas iPadI normally travel with my own iPad as well as my Bose QC15 headphones on short and long-haul flights to combat the boring flight time and when I was putting them in the seat pocket in front I thought oh my gosh someone has left behind their iPad!  Luckily I realised it was the Qantas in-flight entertainment system before I hailed a member of staff.

So seeing as it was there I decided to give it a go.

The Qantas iPad – QStreaming

The Look – it is a standard Black iPad with a stylish Qantas branded red cover.  There is a clear security message over the front of the cover and occasionally displayed on-screen to ward away anyone that might attempt to steal the iPad – stating that it won’t work beyond the aircraft.

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The How – the iPad doesn’t have content on it but rather used Wireless streaming, which is only turned on after take-off (and only when seat-belt signs are turned off after landing).  The iPad operates in flight mode but the WiFi still connects to the streaming system.

The cover is also used as a system to attach the iPad to the back of the seat in front and because of the generous size of an iPad screen it’s actually a larger size than on many short (and long) haul aircraft.  I’ve attached a picture below so that you can see:

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The other advantage for me was that the screen quality and responsiveness to touch was is far better than with the usual in-flight entertainment systems.

There was a good choice of movies, TV, music, radio, kids and news – more than enough to keep me entertained going from Melbourne to Sydney.

photo 4I was also able to connect my Bose headphones simply, and the sound quality avoided some of the extra “noise” that you sometimes receive using a two pin adapter.

When I checked up a little on the Qantas website it gave a few more details including the fact that they are only charged once a day and have the normal Apple iOS installed.

Conclusion

I would actually welcome having the same type of system on other short haul flights – I think it is great.   A better screen, more familiarity, better touch screen and it’s very simple.  There are some downsides – the system still relies on centralized aircraft wireless and streaming so you can still get the situations where no-ones inflight entertainment works.