Jetstar to install iPad seats with extra legroom

By John Walton, April 23 2011
Jetstar to install iPad seats with extra legroom

Jetstar will retrofit around 25 aircraft this year with new seats that include iPad holders, which will also be installed on all its new A320s.

Australian Business Traveller revealed insider details of the Qantas subsidiary's plans to rent passengers iPads last month.

Jetstar has now decided on the built-in iPad bracket on the B/E Pinnacle slimline seats. The structure of the lightweight seats will also give passengers extra legroom.

It looks like the brackets clip backwards onto into the new eye-level seat pockets, which means passengers bringing their own iPads on board won't have as seamless an entertainment option.

Here's a magnified and adjusted shot of the bracket in action:

Jetstar has told airline industry magazine FlightGlobal's Will Horton that half of its existing A320 fleet -- roughly 20 planes -- will be refitted with the new seats. Three seats will be added to bring the planes up to a capacity of 180 passengers.

With the A320s to be refitted currently seating 177 people, it sounds like Jetstar will only be adding a single row onto one side of the plane.

That's good news for passengers: the slimline Pinnacle seats give extra knee-room since the inflight magazines, menus and so on move up to a storage area at eye level.

Jetstar's current seat pitch (the space between your seat back and the one in front) is currently 28 inches on its A320s and 29 inches on its A321s, compared with Qantas' 30-31 inches on most aircraft, so the extra room will be welcome.

The airline will also be refitting the new seats onto its A321 fleet, with six seats added to the stretched sibling of the A320.

New Pinnacle seats will also be installed on all of Jetstar's aircraft on order -- an impressive total of 44 firm orders and 40 additional options.

Pinnacle also makes the unique and popular staggered British Airways Club World business class seating.

If you're not flying Jetstar, check out our frequent flyer hack that shows you how to attach an iPad to a bulkhead or exit row inflight entertainment TV arm so you don't have to hold it for the whole flight.

We imagine that resourceful iPad owners will figure out something similar to hang their iPads from Jetstar's new eye-level seat pockets.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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