Back in February, we heard about a charter jet company that was officially making the switch to iPad. And since then I’ve seen a number of apps and providing this function. But hearing that real live major airlines are doing the same thing is surprising. I figured they’d move to an electronic solution eventually, but using consumer hardware?
Interestingly, the switch mainly saves money on weight. According to American, they’ll save $1.2 million in fuel costs — no mention of savings on printing, that sort of thing. The apps I’ve seen weren’t bargain prices, so probably the companies involved know they can still charge a bundle. Though interestingly, Alaska’s pilots will be using GoodReader (a solid app) to read PDF versions of charts. Baby steps, I guess.
You as a passenger probably won’t notice one way or the other. And no, I don’t think this means you get to keep yours on during takeoff and landing. Apple, I’m sure, will be crowing about this soon, though.