The AP reported this morning that US Airways will remove in-flight entertainment systems on domestic flights come November to save about $10 million annually in fuel and other costs. Spokesman Phil Gee explained that the 500-pound weight of movie systems (i.e., devices that generate video images for those back-of–the-seat screens) forces planes to use more fuel to get around the country. Presumably other carriers will be following suit.
Forget the 500 pounds and the bland in-flight movies with their Disneyworld editing standards and substitute dialogue. Just make it easier to get AC power for passenger computers, iPhones and iPods, and offer gratis broadband service to business and first-class and paid broadband to coach. Simple.