United Airlines becomes first U.S. carrier to offer Apple iPod, iPhone connectivity

United guests may now reach cruising altitude with a new, personalized in-flight entertainment system. United is the first U.S. carrier to offer iPod and iPhone connectivity to its in-flight entertainment system, enabling customers to enjoy their individual content on a 15.4-inch personal television, all while the iPod or iPhone charges.

The first aircraft with iPod and iPhone connectivity is scheduled to depart at 5:40 p.m. from Washington, D.C. to Zurich as United #936, and it will fly primarily on trans-Atlantic routes. United’s entire fleet of international, widebody aircraft are being reconfigured over the next two years with lie-flat seats, on-demand entertainment, and iPod and iPhone connectivity in first and business class.

“Our guests may now watch or listen to what they want, when they want with programming they choose,” says Graham Atkinson, United Airlines – executive vice president and Chief Customer Officer, in the press release. “United will continue to provide services and technology that makes our customers’ travel experiences more relaxed and enjoyable.”

“The iPod and iPhone have become essential for millions of travelers around the world,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPod & iPhone Product Marketing, in the press release. “We think United customers are going to love being able to listen or watch personal music and video content on their iPod or iPhone via the in-flight entertainment system, and we can’t wait for United to roll this out to their fleet.”

Through a cable that supports iPod and iPhone via the 30-pin connector, customers may watch and enjoy their personal content on United’s in-flight entertainment system. Technology for the connectivity was developed by Panasonic Avionics Corporation.

The customized video and audio options complements the more than 150 hours of movies and television shows available on-demand on United’s newly-configured international aircraft, as well as games and XM radio.

United was the first US carrier to introduce lie-flat business class seats in November 2007. More information about these seats – and the International Premium Travel Experience – is available at suitedreams.united.com

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26 Comments

  1. Firstly, God bless the 30-pin connector!

    Secondly, I presume the Zune and the Blackberry will have the same support…What’s that?…No…Good Lord, I’m surprised!</sarcasm>

  2. Yo MDN – WTF!!

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  3. Looks like UNTIED is taking the same approach as the auto industry: give the people lots of toys and gadgets and useless fluff to help them forget about their $25 per checked bag, bad service, cramped seats, and otherwise all-around miserable travel experience…..

  4. Why the iPod or iPhone? why not the Zune? (lol)

    This is the bigest iPod / iPhone accesory of all… a DC 10 or Boeing 737 or 747… imagine that!
    Does any body remember that apple’s campaing “Imagine that!”?

  5. Looks like UNTIED is taking the same approach … all-around miserable travel experience…..

    International First & Business Class is a whole different experience. For that money, the service is there. It’s better than domestic First Class. In the late 90’s, I just about lived in United’s Business Class over the Pacific. Earned literally a million frequent flyer miles.

    A Boeing 767 makes a nice iPod/iPhone accessory. A bit too expensive for my wallet, though.

    But not for the Google guys – do they share one 767, or do they each have one? Keep it at the military airbase right next door to the Googleplex!

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