Customers furious as airlines start to phase out seatback screens

Your days of binge watching flicks on long-haul flights are numbered because some airlines have started to phase out seatback screens.

The most enjoyable party of flying for the majority of people is getting the chance to kick back with a wine and throw on some obscure films you’ve never heard of for a few hours.

However, that’s all about to become a thing of the past, because according to a piece in the New York Times, airlines are taking away seatback screens to cut costs.

in-flight entertainment

Customer are fuming that airlines are phasing out seatback screens. Photo: Getty Images

Seatback screens

Your days of binge watching flicks on long-haul flights are numbered because some airlines have started to phase out seatback screens. Photo: Getty Images

“They reduce the weight of the aircraft, and they reduce the expense associated with maintaining that equipment,” Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group told the New York Times.

The airlines reportedly think people are more likely to bring their own devices onboard and will work harder to improve services like free messaging and faster WiFi.

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Hawaiian Airlines chief commercial officer, Peter Ingram, said as much when he revealed why they were scrapping seatback screens for on the airline’s new A321 fleet.





“With the 321, we recognized a couple of things that are changing in the environment around us that really informed our decision,” he told the New York Times.

“The majority of people are showing up with a device of their own, and they’re ignoring the devices we offer in-seat.”

However, not everyone sees the airline’s point of view, with people taking to Twitter to blast the decision

“If you’re going to take away my seatback screens, you better at least give me outlets for charging, airlines,” one person said online.

“Removing the movies from my international long hauls would literally be the last straw,” another flyer said.

Flying with WiFi

The airlines reportedly think people are more likely to bring their own devices onboard and will work harder to improve services like free messaging and faster WiFi. Photo: Getty Images

The move comes after United Airlines announced that they would be charging a fee for people who want to stow away large items in the bins over their heads.

Along with charging for the overhead bins, it's been claimed United will also not assign any seats until the day of the flight, which means passengers travelling together may be separated.

According to United, the changes are all down to their new “Basic Economy” option, which will be introduced in 2017.

The fare will be less expensive than others however many consumers are not impressed with the terms and conditions attached.

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