One of the biggest pet peeves of travellers is the lack of power points, even when the dependence of air travel is growing on more and more gadgets. Airlines are plucking out seat back entertainment screens, and putting in bring your own device IFE, which comes through with wireless streaming services, and hence, your devices need charge even more when you arrive.
To this extent, while IndiGo decided to not go for seatback power even on their medium-haul A321neo aircraft, SpiceJet promised in-seat charging on their new MAX aircraft but did not deliver, Jet Airways, which did put it on every seat being around no more, there is one airline which is working in this direction. Vistara, which has continuously focused on upping the passenger experience even as a small player, is moving even further in this direction.
If you recall, Vistara placed an order of 50 A320 family aircraft last year, which would facilitate the next phase of their growth. These new aircraft are going to be deployed on new routes of Vistara, which are yet to be announced. Not just that, many of these aircraft will also be leading the way in terms of serving the international services of Vistara, current as well as the future ones.
When the original product roadmap of Vistara came about, Vistara did not include in-seat power on the first twenty two aircraft they ordered. Vistara, at this point in time, had experimented with one IFE product, and was not satisfied enough, so they discontinued it.
However, after the first thirteen aircraft, as the neo variants started getting inducted, the airline made changes to the passenger experience inside the aircraft. In seat power was still not in focus.
However, on the new batch of A320neo aircraft, which is expected to now join the airline in the coming weeks, the airline has decided to change the seat supplier. The current A320 aircraft have seats from Geven.
The new seats will include seatback USB power ports in Economy and Premium Economy cabins, as well as a three-pin universal power port on the business class seats.
Taking the example of Jet Airways’ MAX aircraft, this is how it would then look perhaps.
For economy, here is how USB used to work.
Given that streaming IFE is now a regular part of Vistara’s service and also offered on some of their 737 aircraft, I won’t be surprised then if the new aircraft will also have the seatback mobile holders that Jet Airways also included on their MAX seats. This helps the passengers stay hands free and enjoy their meal or get their work done while the phone/tablet is stuck in the seatback and gets content at the eye level to the passenger.
The in-seat power will only be on new aircraft, and the older aircraft will continue to operate with the older seats. Vistara has 7 aircraft on various stages of production in Toulouse and Hamburg at the moment, and will ramp up their fleet pretty quickly in the coming months.
What do you make of the new Vistara move to add in-seat power to their aircraft.