In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) – Considerations When Moving From Analogue to Digital

November 3rd, 2011 by admin No comments »

By Gina Michelle Francis

Are you considering switching to a digital IFE system? If so, here are some of the things you may need to consider.

• Your first considerations should be regarding the size of your fleet and your budget. Investing in leading technology and content is often a sensible option for large worldwide carriers, but may not be cost-effective for small domestic airlines with smaller aircraft.

• Think about the expectations of your passengers. If your airline caters for high-end passengers, they are likely to expect the very best technology and content. In this instance, quality could be key to the satisfaction of customers and the long-term relationships you hope to forge with them.

• One thing to consider is how to ensure there is minimum disruption while the move from analogue to digital is being undertaken. You may wish to consider handheld devices in the interim.

• One of the biggest challenges of the transition is becoming acquainted with the acronyms and jargon involved. By identifying an experienced and knowledgeable content service provider (CSP), this process should be far smoother. They’ll explain everything clearly and help you to make informed decisions about the technology you use.

• Consider the duration of flights, so that digital content can be chosen appropriately. Longer-haul flights may require a movie-bias, while short-haul flights may be more focused on audio and TV shorts.

• Another consideration is regarding the costs to the passenger. Is this a complementary service or something that will be used to generate revenue? Your preference will have an impact on the design and structure of the media that your content service provider will recommend.

• Capacity for each system varies, so you’ll need to think about what content needs to the there and how often you’ll keep it before replacing it with something fresh.

• The type of system you choose will also be dependent on whether it will be broadcast on overhead screens or via seat-back screens. This could differ from economy to business class.

• If you’re using seat-back screens, you may wish to have an AVOD interactive menu (GUI) and so will need your content service provider to help you design it to your exact specifications.

• You’ll need to define the roll-out schedule, as switching from analogue to digital could result in a shorter schedule mindset when ordering and deploying content. The lead-times for digital can also be longer for digital, so careful scheduling and management will be required to ensure content is fresh.

The Importance of Pre-Recorded Announcements

November 3rd, 2011 by admin No comments »

By Gina Michelle Francis

Communicating effectively with passengers is essential for any airline. It can contribute towards passenger safety, extend customer satisfaction and increase revenue for the airline. While ‘live’ announcements from cabin crew will play a part in achieving these benefits, there are a number of instances where pre-recorded announcements (PRAMs) can be of considerable benefit.

• When a passenger books a flight with an airline, there’s a certain level of customer service they expect. This can be made up in many different ways but one of the most important is a friendly and warm welcome. A friendly yet professional PRAM can be used to welcome passengers as they board.

• PRAMs can also be used for on-hold music in between important messages or for when passengers are arriving on-board. Many people find flying stressful, so having pleasant and relaxing music can help them to relax.

• Likewise, before passengers disembark the aircraft, they may benefit from being provided with some useful information about what happens when they enter the airport. This could be coupled with a friendly farewell that supports the customer-airline relationship.

• During the flight, there are other important messages that need to be conveyed to passengers, not least of all regarding their safety. Pre-recorded safety announcements can allay fears and offer straightforward guidance on what passengers should do in an emergency situation.

• The potential to increase on board revenues during flights is something all airlines need to consider. Using PRAMs, airlines can promote duty-free goods, snacks, beverages and other products and services to generate additional sales.

• In-flight entertainment (IFE) packages can offer considerable benefits to passengers but if passengers. If you’re IFE content is not free then you need to encourage passengers to buy headphones so they can enjoy it. A PRAM can be used to promote the IFE package, as well as informing passengers that headphones are available to buy or rent.

• For airlines that provide portable in-flight entertainment devices such as the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP), pre-recorded announcements can be a great way to inform passengers of their availability.

• By using pre-recorded announcements for some of the messages airlines need to make, it allows flight attendants to focus on other important roles, such as preparing for meals and attending to passengers.

• PRAMs are written by trained and experienced scriptwriters and delivered in a clear and professional tone. This means each message achieves its objectives, whether it’s welcoming passengers, promoting products for sale or providing safety instructions.