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Kiwi airline adds PC, iPod support

Hi-tech mile high?

Warning: aircraft

Gadget-laden long-haul travellers could do worse than fly Air New Zealand, because the Kiwi airline has just equipped its cheapest seats with a plethora of PC and iPod portage.

Called a “Skycouch”, the redesigned economy seat features an “entertainment system” comprising a PC power plug, USB connection – probably not USB 3.0, we’d wager – and media player friendly audio and video linkage.

Passengers will be able to display iPod-stored videos on their seatback screens – sadly these haven’t been upgraded to HD - and control the Apple gadget using their seat’s remote control.

These changes will be introduced on Boeing 777-300 aircraft, several of which are scheduled to touchdown with Air New Zealand later this year.

Having flown on Singapore Airlines' double-decker Airbus A380-800, which is likewise equipped with all this tech goodness, even in economy seating, we welcome Air New Zealand's move.

It was previously thought each seat would be given a broadband connection, but the airline seems to have ditched plans for in-flight web in economy. Or perhaps only first-class Kiwis will be able to get online en route to Auckland?

Skycouches are so named, in case you were wondering, because families can buy adjoining seats and then lay across them in relative comfort — they're deep enough for two people to lie next to each other. The seats were designed by Recaro – famous for its racing car seats. ®

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