Personal Airplane Television Screens Likely to Fade Away

Lindsey Marie Round

While the overall trend worldwide seems to be to increase the amount of technology that individuals encounter daily, airlines may have a different idea in mind. The New York Times reports that many airlines are considering doing away with the television screens that are frequently found on the backs of the seats in an airplane.[1] Alternatively, the content typically available via these screens will be available to customers through streaming to their own personal devices.[2] One disadvantage to this decision may include the airline companies not being able to gain access to the newest movies, which they currently can obtain 1-2 months before they are released to the public for purchase.[3] In addition, customers will not be able to watch a movie or television show while they are doing work or performing other functions on their laptops since the laptop will be necessary to view the movie or show.[4] Furthermore, customers who do not bring a smartphone, tablet, or laptop on their flight will lose access to this amenity. However, this change is likely to only affect domestic flights and the longer flights will retain the personal screens.[5] For better or worse, this change will likely occur, but it will likely take years to implement so customers should not expect to see these changes in the very near future.


[1] Christopher Mele, Airlines Phasing Out Screens Because You Are All on Your Devices, N.Y. Times (Feb. 16, 2017),

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.