Hawaiian says “aloha” to digEplayers on Boeing 767 planes

Hawaiian Airlines announced yesterday that they’re updating in-flight entertainment offerings in a big way by becoming the first (and currently only) U.S. carrier to use the Apple iPad mini on all of its wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft starting September 1. The slim and lightweight iPad minis will replace Hawaiian’s current portable entertainment system, the bulky 3-pound digEplayer (shown here) and offer a much wider array of entertainment options to travelers on flights where the service is offered. The iPad minis are complimentary in Business Class on all B767 routes and available for rent in Economy Class for $15 if reserved at the departure gate prior to boarding ($17 if purchased in-flight) on North America, Brisbane, and Pago Pago routes.

This is a fantastic upgrade that every passenger on these flights should be excited about. I picked up an iPad mini last December and can say that without question, it’s my favorite device to use in the air. The size and shape of the mini are what I would classify as “just big enough.” It doesn’t feel bulky or boxy, and makes a fantastic e-reader since it’s easy to hold in one hand. Also, it manages to fit nicely on a tray table while still leaving space for your glass of wine or soda. I’m very much looking forward to experiencing the offering firsthand when we fly to Fukuoka in March.

The airline has contracted with Bluebox Avionics to deploy 1,500 iPad Minis on Hawaiian’s 14 B767 aircraft that serve 14 routes between Hawai‘i and the U.S. Mainland, Asia and the South Pacific. Hawaiian is Bluebox Ai’s first U.S. airline partner for its iPad mini IFE solution. The iPad minis will come stocked with more than 100 hours of the latest Hollywood releases, television shows, and a variety of interactive games for passengers to enjoy.

“Hawaiian Airlines’ signature on-board hospitality is already very popular with travelers, but we wanted to go even further to ensure our customers’ travel experience is more enjoyable,” said Blaine Miyasato, Hawaiian Airlines vice president of product development. “With the help of Bluebox Avionics, we’re building on our acclaimed inflight service by incorporating the latest in popular consumer tech products to enhance our in-flight entertainment options.”

Hawaiian Airlines currently operates their wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300 aircraft between Honolulu and Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, Phoenix in the U.S.; Fukuoka and Sendai, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Brisbane, Australia; Papeete, Tahiti; and Pago Pago, American Samoa. In addition, Hawaiian Airlines B767 routes also include service between Kahului, Maui and San Jose, Oakland and Seattle.

Now the only thing left for Hawaiian to look at upgrading is their First/Biz seats for those long-haul routes. Then they’ll have a serious lock-down on best-in-class services to Asia & the South Pacific.

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