Continental (finally) getting their first LiveTV plane in the air

For the Past couple months Continental has had a plane sitting in Orlando, mostly on the ground.  It is the first of their planes to receive the long awaited LiveTV 3 implementation for the in-flight entertainment system.  The plane made its FAA check-out flight on March 2nd and there is a 30-day minimum to get the certification from the FAA so many have been waiting with bated breath for the plane to finally enter service.  The wait is over this week, as ship #413 is finally on the schedule to re-enter service on Friday afternoon.  Sure, it is a few weeks after the revised target date and about six weeks past the initial target date, but it is finally done. 

Mostly.  Right now it seems that there is only a limited number of channels that will be available on the system – 35 instead of the planned 80.  I really hope that getting the other 45 online can be done without taking the plane out of service again.

The FAA certification for the overall configuration came earlier this week and Continental is officially still awaiting theirs for the specific setup, but they’ve put the plane into their schedule with its inaugural commercial flight scheduled to be Continental 1493, a flight from Orlando to Newark.  If the flights weren’t $600 I would almost certainly fly down to get in on the party, but that is rather steep, even with the double EQM promo going on right now.  I generally pay less for flights to Europe.

This also means that another plane will be going in to the shop to be fit with the system so a benchmark should be established pretty soon in terms of how quickly they are able to get the planes converted.  There are a bunch of them flying around right now with nothing and passengers seem to not like that too much, so the sooner the better for Continental. 

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.