UPDATE: Korean rocks economy with IFE, power & pretty girls

Thales Korean 1.JPG

UPDATE: This is not Thales IFE. It’s Panasonic IFE! Doh! Indeed, I’m told that, at present, the dominant portion of Korean’s fleet is fitted with Panasonic System 3000 and eX2.

Original blog:

Sitting in Row 48 on a Korean Air Boeing 777-200, Zsolt Kiraly – an Apple loving, iPhone coding, Japanophile, MBA grad and all-round airplane geek – received a pleasant surprise.

There in front of his face was a large in-flight entertainment monitor offering two dozen movies and myriad short programming, as well as music and video games on demand – a far cry from Korean’s economy-class of old, seen here:

The power plugs “were super handy because we brought [our child] Alex’s favourite shows on a MacBook so we were not risking draining the battery on that laptop. There were multi-form 110V plugs under almost every seat,” says Kiraly.

Korean is a big customer of Thales (with Thales tapped on a multitude of forward fits), but this is not Thales IFE. It’s Panasonic. And the carrier’s in-flight amenities extend past IFE on this LAX-INC flight.

“I gotta say the Korean Air service in general was superb. There were tons of flight attendants constantly milling about. All female of course, and very pretty. Seating was 3-3-3, and I thought the legroom was great. And these were the cheapest tickets we could buy,” says Kiraly.

Pretty girls? How un-PC! (i.e. perfect for this blog).

In line with the IFEC industry’s newfocus on the “passenger experience”, you can consider this Report 1 ofwhat I hope will be a series of mini-reports from the field about thepassenger experience in which IFEC and interiors will feature prominently.

To vote for Korean’s IFE in the Passenger Choice Awards, go HERE.
Kiraly took the pic above and the ones below with his new iPhone 4.

Thales Korean 2.JPG

Thales Korean 3.JPG

Thales Korean 4.JPG

Thales Korean 5.JPG

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7 Responses to UPDATE: Korean rocks economy with IFE, power & pretty girls

  1. Anonymous July 1, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    I’m very courious; are the USB and athernet plugs actually working and if, what can the passenger use them for?

  2. Dave July 1, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Where are these pretty girls you speak of? Not one single picture? You promised me pretty girls Kirby…

  3. Zsolt Kiraly July 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Hi there,

    I am the passenger who sent the pics. I did try the USB plug, but could not get it working. The rumor is that to charge, Apple products need a signal on the data line also, and in the past not all household USB chargers and car chargers took this into account. I know that 2 years ago on a Delta 757 I also could not get power out of the USB to charge my iPhone. Somebody, please tell me if there is a trick to making this work.

    We did not try the Ethernet, because our main concern was power for the laptop in case Alex ran out of things to watch on the IFE. As you might imagine, traveling with a small child requires careful planning. So once I confirmed that the laptop could receive power, I handed it off to my wife across the isle, and I did not see it until 15 min before landing.

    Thank you Mary for the superb writeup, and thank you for reading!


  4. Mary Kirby July 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Ok. I’ve had my original answer confirmed. The Ethernet once supported Korean’s Connexion by Boeing high-speed Internet service. The USB is sort of a general usage port for various peripherals. Not sure if it is still working on Korean (as evidenced by @Zkiraly) but it works fine on SIA and others.

  5. Mary Kirby July 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Both were installed as provisions, just never utilized. Korean Air was a Connexion By Boeing customer and Panasonic routed that via the System 3000i IFE for connections.

    USB jacks can be used for USB device power, like a Blackberry; but not the iPhone/iPod after Gen3 because there is an authentication required from within the Apple firmware (which Panasonic’s eXport Jack/Cable supports, but the USB does not).

    USB can also be used for Panasonic’s USB Media Player (playing pax files from their USB storage device, camera, etc.) as well as for file downloads, neither of which Korean is doing at present.

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