It's official. All these back-to-back trips are kicking Runway Girl's butt just a little bit. The upside to being a road warrior is that I'm getting to experience the downside of the passenger experience on a regular basis (US Airways, you know I'm looking right at you), and can attest with complete certainty to the following:
1) In-flight entertainment and particularly in-flight connectivity are necessary distractions to what has otherwise become an agonizing in-flight experience for economy class passengers (all the mood lighting in the world isn't going to make that seat pitch any better).
2) The airline that sits on the fence too long and doesn't offer passengers these distractions is asking for trouble, especially now that travelers are FaceBooking and Tweeting every little thing they do/see/feel, like this:
Now then, do I think that US Airways gives a fiddler's fart that its passengers despise its service? Not in the least. Do I think that the lion's share of US Airways' employees are happy? Hell's to the no. Some of the flight attendants are downright hostile. But can you blame them? The carrier had back-to-back bankruptcies and demanded its pound of flesh from employees.
Nonetheless, I'd like to urge US Airways (again) to change its ways, and it doesn't have to go particularly high-end or complex either. Lookie here, for instance, at the Siemens/ALTRAN outfit, which has been quietly drawing a lot of attention lately for its "Simple" wireless IFE solution. The following video is in German, but you'll get the gist.