Mexican airline Volaris rents Apple iPods

“Mexican flight attendants now serve fistfuls of salted snacks, carbonated drinks and, for about $5, iPods,” Reuters reports.

“By renting the iconic music and video device to passengers, low-cost airline Volaris has got the jump on U.S giants, such Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc. and UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, who have been talking for months about offering iPod seat connections,” Reuters reports.

“‘We’re the first to use iPod’s. We like it because no one else has it,’ said public relations officer Alfonso Collantes. Volaris began handing out the 30 Gigabyte devices free on February 8, but will soon start charging 50 pesos per flight,” Reuters reports. “The MP3 players are packed with Mexican TV shows and popular music, but the airline plans to load on U.S. sitcoms and other music genres.”

“‘We just went out and bought a bunch of iPods and started giving them out to passengers,’ said Collantes,” Reuters reports. “Volaris is owned by billionaire Carlos Slim and media giant Televisa, said in January it will add a dozen new routes and triple revenues this year.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Analyst: Apple’s big airlines deal yet another reason consumers will choose iPod over also-rans – November 15, 2006
Apple teams with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM & United to deliver iPod integration – November 14, 2006
Apple in talks with airlines about bringing iTunes music and video downloads to seat-backs in-flight – April 11, 2006

14 Comments

  1. The copyright holders of the TV shows and record companies (at least the U.S. ones) are going to throw a fit!!!
    Charging for their content without giving the TV/Music cartel a cut every time they charge 50 pesos isn’t going to sit well with them.
    Can’t wait to read the response to this one.

  2. This is smart. Except that they really should rent them before you enter the airport so the iPod can distract you from the myriad harbingers of impending doom.

    Now more: “Wait, isn’t that woman taxiing our plane onto the runway the very same woman who checked our bags?” Instead, you’ll be jammin to hot tunes or watching those ever popular and wildly compelling TV melodramas. You’ll never notice the cracks in the roof at the airport again.

    They could charge more for this kind of peace of mind.

  3. Not only will the airline lose iPods to passengers, it will lose them to employees. I think this is great for Apple and a bold move by a small airline, but is this really a good idea. If Volaris has a way of keeping accountability of iPods, I’d like to hear what it is.

  4. Some facts for you:

    Carlos Slim is number 3 richiest people in the world (source: Forbes).
    He is the owner of TLEMEX (Teléfonos de México) and Telcel, cellular company that presumes to have 24 million users in Mexico. TELMEX is the most popular internet broadband service, Prodigy Infinitum. Do you remember Prodigy? I think this used to be a service in the US and he bought it.
    TELMEX was purchased by Slim from Mexican Govm’t in the obscure days when Government owned this public service, so TELMEX is the main long distance carrier here, so the other companies have to pay a lot for interconnection.
    TELMEX is one of the most profitable telecom companies in the globe and, in some cases, acts like a monopoly; I relate this company with Microsoft for these practices.
    Also, there in 1997, when BG invested US$150 million on stock from Apple, this guy invested US$60.
    TELMEX looks like Microsoft and is an expensive service. By instance, the basic broadband service, Infinitum, costs some US$32/mo for a connection of 128up/1024dn mbps service. Also, illegaly, you sign a contract in which you cannot make use of your internet service to connect any kind of VoIP services not contrated to the. This is illegal and has caused a lot of discontent by users.
    Telcel is the most expensive cell company here in Mexico. It is the most popular because it is in most highways so you are always connected.

  5. “So, how do they distinguish between their rented ipods and the ipods other passengers have brought with them?”

    The iPod renters are humanely brought down with tranq darts and ear-tagged during the flight, much the same way that wildebeast were on “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”.

  6. “So, how do they distinguish between their rented ipods and the ipods other passengers have brought with them? I mean, will it not be stolen or smuggled out of the plane?”

    You would think Volaris would have Apple engrave the airline logo on the back of all rental iPods to distinguish between theirs and other personal ipods.

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