Goes to...........Virgin Atlantic Airways! They are now installing (at God knows what expense) a seat-messaging system to communicate with passengers. According to their PR news release, this new system will "wish someone a ‘Happy Birthday’ or to ask passengers to close their window blinds for the night." It will also function "to alert passengers when the movie is about to begin."
In other words, passengers now have to view their screen to be told that a movie is starting on their screen!
It gets even sillier: This new system will come equipped with a parental lock that "gives parents the option to block out channels they do not want their little ones to watch." In case, of course, these parents are unable, unwilling, incompetent, or simply can't be disturbed to deal with their own children! How will this 'parental lock' work? According to the airline: "Parents simply ask a crew member for assistance, providing the seat number, the message they want displayed or information on the channel(s) they would like blocked."
Great. What a significant contribution to aviation!
Passengers will now have the ability to entrust the selective viewing habits of their kids to the flight attendants, who will have to rely on yet more airplane technology that is prone to constantly breaking down. And text messages? Passengers onboard the planes barely listen to live human beings (aka flight attendants) now! What yuppie in what cubicle in what city in what country on what planet in what Universe thinks that passengers will obey text messages flashing across the seat in front of them?
I think that Richard Branson has spent a little too much time in that hot air balloon of his. God help us all if that balloon comes over to United Airlines!