First Ryanair stopped “unnecessarily pissing people off.” Now the airline might give them something more for entertainment on board than the cabin crew selling scratch-card lotto tickets. The carrier is reportedly looking to offer streaming in-flight entertainment on a limited number of its aircraft starting this summer. The service is expected to be free to passengers and supported by advertising sponsorships according to a media briefing from company CTO John Hurley earlier this week. The carrier is also looking to trial in-flight internet service for planes serving routes focused on business travelers, another step towards trying to expand the company’s product portfolio. No word on pricing for the internet service or even specifics on which routes might see it, but Hurley suggested a “freemium” model is a likely contender. This would allow light usage for things like email or messaging to be free but heavier usage would incur a charge.
Of course, with minimal space between the rows on board it is unlikely that too many full-size laptops are going to be coming out on these flights, but for tablet or smartphone usage the offering just might work. As far back as 2008 the company looked into in-flight mobile phone service and it also tried renting media players to passengers at one point. Neither was particularly successful but, well, times have changed.
Or the company has realize that there is money to be made with these via the additional ancillary revenue because demand is finally high enough to justify the installation and maintenance costs.