Virgin Australia powers up with at-seat AC, USB for Boeing 737

Virgin Australia powers up with at-seat AC, USB for Boeing 737

Virgin Australia will provide AC and USB sockets for economy class passengers in a trial of an innovative in-seat power system.

The test kit will be fitted in the second quarter of 2017 to one of Virgin's workhorse Boeing 737-800s, which typically fly up and down Australia's east coast as well as to Adelaide and sometimes Perth.

That trial period is likely to run for up to 12 months, during which time Virgin will study the usage patterns as well as the power consumption, the number of devices connected and customer satisfaction.

Australian Business Traveller understands that business class seats in the chosen Boeing 737 will each see one universal-style AC outlet plus a single high-power USB port capable of charging tablets and larger smartphones.

In economy there'll be a pair of AC sockets and high-power USB ports for each group of three seats, with the outlets mounted between the three seats in front of the guests for ease of access.

The trial will help Virgin "define the future of our inflight product as we evaluate enhancements and fleet updates,” according to Ben Asmar, the airline's Head of Product Development.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

15 comments

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    25 Oct, 2016 12:14 pm

    Given VA has a BYOD IFE offering, this is essential.  Currently the only way you can watch a movie on a VA737 is if you have an external bttery to keep your mobile/iPad etc charged inflight.

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  • Dory

    Dory

    26 Oct, 2016 03:14 pm

    I've successfully watched many a movie (or multiple TV shows) on my BYOD, and never used / needed external battery - so it's not the "only way". Of course, in-seat power will be great for those times when you don't have the chance to charge before or after your flight
    No member give thanks

  • Yusef Danet

    Yusef Danet

    25 Oct, 2016 12:48 pm

    Surely getting all the 737 J class seats fitted first would be a priority?? VA is not really there when it comes to consistency of product. 
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  • Jason Masters

    JPMasters

    25 Oct, 2016 02:55 pm

    They already do on the 737 J class - use it regularly
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  • johnaboxall

    johnaboxall

    26 Oct, 2016 12:05 am

    Not on all aircraft, more often than not it isn't there. Or I just have bad luck. Frankly would rather have footrests in rows 1 and 2. 
    No member give thanks

  • Jason Masters

    JPMasters

    26 Oct, 2016 08:49 pm

    I must have been luck - every time I wanted to use it has been there - although sometime have to as the FA's to turn the power on.
    No member give thanks

  • sgb

    sgb

    25 Oct, 2016 01:07 pm

    Baby steps...
    No member give thanks

  • riley

    riley

    25 Oct, 2016 01:22 pm

    I guess it's a positive. Especially if in air wifi takes off. Will they be putting in a credit card slot and charging by the milliamp?
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  • paperysomething

    paperysomething

    25 Oct, 2016 01:50 pm

    Appreciated? Yes. Innovative? Definately not.
    No member give thanks

  • Tim

    timhill

    25 Oct, 2016 06:49 pm

    Incredible that AC and USB needs to be trialled for 12 months. What year do they think it is?? Perfect for charging my pager and Walkman.
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  • Dory

    Dory

    26 Oct, 2016 03:16 pm

    Finite budget, very expensive product roll-out - I can see why they'd trial it first. Why risk getting it wrong across the whole fleet - learning from past mistakes!
    No member give thanks

  • petercr

    petercr

    26 Oct, 2016 04:02 pm

    Or your Motorola Dynamic phone
    No member give thanks

  • petercr

    petercr

    26 Oct, 2016 04:03 pm

    Stupid spellchecker... DynaTAC
    No member give thanks

  • SuperSonic

    Shoudy Chen

    27 Oct, 2016 05:59 pm

    About time VA needs USB ports for B737 aircraft
    No member give thanks

  • E K

    imxpnsv

    29 Oct, 2016 02:33 am

    VA needs to update the quality of in flight meal first. Oh I mean.. in flight snack.
    No member give thanks

Guest

18 Jul, 2019 11:49 pm

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