Ten years ago, your writer flew to the U.S. with Virgin Atlantic and was hugely impressed to find a SNES built in to the seat. But times change, and now Thomas Cook would rather you play with Sony’s PSP.
The handheld machine will be offered on short and medium-haul flights. It’ll come with eight movies and seven TV shows to watch and a handful of games to rent, and you can opt to get a headphone splitter to share the movies with your neighbour.
Here’s the thing, though – it’ll cost you £7.50 per flight, and the traditional seat-back entertainment system is being junked to make way for it.
According to Thomas Cook CEO Ian Derbyshire, only one in ten people use the entertainment system, so this new pay-for-distractions model does make sense (as well as getting a bit of extra cash in). Presumably the old system is still popular on long-haul flights, which is why the PSPs aren’t being rolled out there.