Qantas clarifies A330 inflight entertainment, Q Streaming

By David Flynn , January 15 2015
Qantas clarifies A330 inflight entertainment, Q Streaming

With Qantas' revamped domestic and international Airbus A330 jets now taking wing, travellers on the made-over birds will find several inflight entertainment options scattered across the fleet.

First up: all of the A330s are having Qantas' Q Streaming system installed, so that video and music can be beamed via wireless throughout the plane.

However, the ability to stream content to your own tablet or smartphone is not yet in place.

"Later this year, customers in both cabins across all A330 aircraft will be able to access Q Streaming with their own device following final development" a Qantas spokeswoman confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.

Video & review: Q Streaming in action

The tip-to-tail refit of all international Airbus A330-300 jets includes 11.1 inch touchscreens for all economy class seats.

However, less than half of the domestic A330-200 jets – being those most recently purchased by Qantas – will have seatback screens in economy.

Older aircraft which joined the Flying Kangaroo's fleet without seatback screens, including those handed down from Jetstar as part of the low-cost airline's upgrade to the Boeing 787, will see economy passengers handed an iPad to use with Q Streaming.

"The differentiation of IFE system on each aircraft is dependent on the existing system already available" the spokeswoman said. "If the aircraft already had a seatback screen then we kept it in. If not, then Q Streaming is used as the solution."

"Based on the 18 A330-200 aircraft, 10 will have iPads and eight will have seatback screens."

Business Suites across the domestic and international fleets all come with a 16 inch HD touchscreen (as shown below).

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Hang on, I was under the impression that when they rip out the old Business Class seats and install the new Business Class seats, they will also be ripping out the old Economy Class seats and installing the new Economy Class seat, which has the seat-back screen built in. Ergo, the issue of ipads and streaming is irrelevant.

Has there been a fudge and/or unclear reporting on this matter?

When the A330s get retrofitted with the new Business Class seats, will they also get retrofitted with new Economy Class seats?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

It depends on which type of A330 - domestic (A33-200) or international (A330-300).

It's always been the case that the international models would get new economy seats with seatback screens, while the domestic ones would keep the same seats but with a 'refresh' (new covers etc).

That's what Qantas has always stated and what we've always reported, but clearly the differentaion between two versions of the A330 is easily overlooked.

Some of those A330-200 economy seats have seatback screens, others do not.

Thank you for the clarification David. Would the following table below correctly capture this information?

 

Apologies, I misread. So really the retrofit for Economy class seats on the A330 are for International flights ONLY. Is that right?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

I think its more to say that 300s will have Y retrofitted, 200s won't.

At present a number (at least 4 200s) are used on international routes, and I suspect this will increase as the remaining unrefurbed 3 747s are withdrawn

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

One thing that bugs me about QF is their inconsistency in product (in this case enterntainment)! Great way to create confusion!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 126

Looks like Virgin's A330 entertainment with existing seat back screens in every aircraft looks like the choice for economy passengers on the coast-to-coast wide body aircraft.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Frequent Flyer

18 Apr 2013

Total posts 23

Broderick, inconsistency is frustrating with all airlines, etc lie flat vs angled beds - all airlines will have them! More so I find with VA, who I think base their business model on inconsistency!

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 580

Not quite sure the need for clarification, as what is written above is what they said from day dot.

What does need clarification however is what will happen to the 4 international configured -200's.

The latter -200's with fixed seat IFE have Panasonic systems, so easy to keep the screens and connect to the new Panasonic IFE system. Ala -EBV.

But the international ones have Rockwell Collins. They either they need to have the screens removed, which at face value is contrary to what Qantas has said, or they need new seats to fit the Pansonic screens ala the -300's.

Also no word on weather Qantas will keep a subfleet of -200's for international. From a schedule perspective, they need 2 dedicated to international, but without an international subfleet it may mean that any -200, including those with JUST Q streaming may appear on international, which wouldn't be good.

 

 Also what is not clear is on the -200's that only have Q streaming, will it be BYO, which is what I beleive they are doing when rolling out to the 737's, or will it be provided by Qantas?

AJW,

Is it the case that all -200's Economy cabins will not be changed regardless of their pre-existing IFE systems? Where -200's do not have seat-back, ipads will be issued?

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 580

Think you missed the point. The 4 international configured -200's WILL need a change. All aircraft are getting the Panasonic IFE system, this is not compatible with the Rockwell Collins system installed in these aircraft. So either these 4 will have screens removed or new screens, which will probably mean new seats installed.

With the Ipads is it confirmed that Qantas will issue them. Makes sense if the case, though as mentioned with the 737's it will be BYO only. So more inconsitancy. 

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 197

The quote from QF "Based on the 18 A330-200 aircraft, 10 will have iPads and eight will have seatback screens."

This indicates that the 8 A332s with Panasonic IFE in Y will keep it as there 8 of them.  As QF stated 8 with IFE, 10 with iPad, the 4 A332s with Rockwell Collins IFE in Y must be having the IFE removed.

Thanks madge and moa999!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

And the quote says 8 200s will have seatback IFE in Y. There are currently 8 aircraft with Panasonic, 4 with Rockwell Collins, so ergo the Rockwell Collins units will be removed/ covered

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 150

What about the 200s with the international cabin, as they have different IFE to the domestic 200s!

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

Alex, I dont agree. ANZ have a very consistent product. All 772's are getting the same upgrades as the 77W's (OKC & OKA) already have them,  apart from PE the 772's have the same product as the Dreamliner. It's very streamlined.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Frequent Flyer

18 Apr 2013

Total posts 23

Broderick agree with your comments re NZ and 772, however ANZ have inconsistency with their international product offering, a clear example of this would be their 767's vs other international aircraft in their fleet. Inconsistency is across all facets of an airline's offering. As I mentioned previously all airlines have and experience incosistencey. With so many elements changing so frequently these days, it would be impossible for any airline to have a consistent product offering except maybe for LCC's who's offering is minimal anyway.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 334

Cheaping out as usual...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 May 2013

Total posts 25

I beg to differ.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Most major airlines have to have a range of aircraft types, so it's just par for the course there are some variations across the fleet. What matters to me more is that aircraft/seating is consistent on a specific flight number (and route, being an addition wish), so I know that what I chosen & booked matches what's at the gate on boarding (no surprises, unless they are better than I booked). That's why I was overjoyed to see VA XFA/XFB go from the Coast to Coast MEL-PER service. 

I'd prefer it if airlines didn't run variable aircraft type flight numbers (one day 747, another A380, etc) and didn't swap out aircraft types on zero notice - or at least made these extremely rare occurrences with perhaps real apologies when necessities made this unavoidable. 

So that Qantas' A330-300s will have some differences to its A330-200s doesn't trouble me so much (well it would have been nice if the 200 had two business loos like the 300, but aside from that). That some 200s will have inbuilt IFE in Economy is a "better than I booked" situation for me, as I know it's not to be expected as a given and I can pre-plan accordingly if I was to travel in Y on those 200s. Qantas are giving iPads to those Y travellers, and will hopeful get their BYO streaming up to speed soon, so no-one will be missing out in any significant way (now if you got no IFE options at all, different story).

All that said, if airlines could offer all direct aisle access J seating across all aircraft with J, that'd be a dream come true :-)

08 Apr 2014

Total posts 15

Any idea if the iPads are setup with kick-stands like on JQ or velcro the same as those on the 76's?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

We won't find out until VH-EBA comes out of the shop, but given both the 767 and the refurbed 717s had the velcro slots, I think thats most likely

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Velcro slots mean you don't have to juggle during meal service too, so here's hoping they stick with that.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

Update: I'm flying to Singapore tomorrow on a media trip for the international launch of the A330-300 Business Suite, so I'll have a follow-up chat with the Qantas product manager to drill down as much as possible on issues such as the A330-200s with international config.

Thanks David!

Enjoy the trip!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2015

Total posts 3

Hi David - how was the International A330 experience? Hanging out for the review!!!

Did you manage to get any more info specifically about the current A332 International Subfleet and their fate? Any chance they will receive the 'International' standard economy seat & IFE makeovere?

08 Jul 2014

Total posts 11

Regarding the four A332 International aircraft:

Two are being returned to the lessor (as was announced in last year's results announcement) 

The other two will have the Rockwell removed and Q-streaming installed. All 10 Q-streaming will have iPad minis at every seat and will be connected to the in-seat power so they won't need to be removed unless they're faulty. 

The 200s will not be scheduled for international sectors because the new galley config won't really be equiped for international service requirements (ie two meal services). Plus,  Pilot crew rest removed. 

Thats not to say that they couldn't be utilised if needed, they just won't be normally scheduled. 

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 580

The problem I see is at present (and might I add even before a/c were taken offline for refurbishment) they still required two -200's for international operations with the current schedule. Either they are going to need to drop some routes, or make some cleaver schedule changes to accomodate international flying being done by the -300's. 

Though don't see much scope for schedule changes to get more flying out of the -300 fleet.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2014

Total posts 14

Hi David,

I'm flying from Perth to Sydney in Feb aboard a QF A330. My upgrade to business has been requested and confirmed online. However, how will I know if this will be the new business class product? The seating map is not very clear. I'll be in 5A.


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