Virgin Australia powers up with at-seat AC, USB for Boeing 737

By David Flynn , October 25 2016
Virgin Australia powers up with at-seat AC, USB for Boeing 737

Virgin Australia will provide AC and USB sockets for economy class passengers in a trial of an innovative in-seat power system.

The test kit will be fitted in the second quarter of 2017 to one of Virgin's workhorse Boeing 737-800s, which typically fly up and down Australia's east coast as well as to Adelaide and sometimes Perth.

That trial period is likely to run for up to 12 months, during which time Virgin will study the usage patterns as well as the power consumption, the number of devices connected and customer satisfaction.

Australian Business Traveller understands that business class seats in the chosen Boeing 737 will each see one universal-style AC outlet plus a single high-power USB port capable of charging tablets and larger smartphones.

In economy there'll be a pair of AC sockets and high-power USB ports for each group of three seats, with the outlets mounted between the three seats in front of the guests for ease of access.

The trial will help Virgin "define the future of our inflight product as we evaluate enhancements and fleet updates,” according to Ben Asmar, the airline's Head of Product Development.

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.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 748

Given VA has a BYOD IFE offering, this is essential.  Currently the only way you can watch a movie on a VA737 is if you have an external bttery to keep your mobile/iPad etc charged inflight.


30 Jun 2011

Total posts 4

I've successfully watched many a movie (or multiple TV shows) on my BYOD, and never used / needed external battery - so it's not the "only way". Of course, in-seat power will be great for those times when you don't have the chance to charge before or after your flight

20 Oct 2011

Total posts 77

Surely getting all the 737 J class seats fitted first would be a priority?? VA is not really there when it comes to consistency of product. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 48

They already do on the 737 J class - use it regularly

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 761

Not on all aircraft, more often than not it isn't there. Or I just have bad luck. Frankly would rather have footrests in rows 1 and 2. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 48

I must have been luck - every time I wanted to use it has been there - although sometime have to as the FA's to turn the power on.

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Baby steps...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

I guess it's a positive. Especially if in air wifi takes off. Will they be putting in a credit card slot and charging by the milliamp?

Appreciated? Yes. Innovative? Definately not.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Jun 2014

Total posts 9

Incredible that AC and USB needs to be trialled for 12 months. What year do they think it is?? Perfect for charging my pager and Walkman.

30 Jun 2011

Total posts 4

Finite budget, very expensive product roll-out - I can see why they'd trial it first. Why risk getting it wrong across the whole fleet - learning from past mistakes!

23 Sep 2015

Total posts 46

Or your Motorola Dynamic phone

23 Sep 2015

Total posts 46

Stupid spellchecker... DynaTAC

Qantas

13 Jun 2015

Total posts 143

About time VA needs USB ports for B737 aircraft

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 38

VA needs to update the quality of in flight meal first. Oh I mean.. in flight snack.


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