In our round-up of how to make the most of in seat power, I wrote that no domestic flights yet offer in-seat power for economy customers. Well, I stand corrected: the very same day that column got published, I flew on a Qantas A330-200 from Perth to Sydney that offered in-seat power even in the cheap seats.
Our captain boasted that the A330-200 was amongst the “first of the next-generation domestic planes” Qantas is rolling out. The on-board entertainment and power systems are clearly based on the A380 options, with the same touch-screen interface. There’s fewer choices (no Skycam or on-board SMS) and a slightly simpler flight path math, but you’re hardly likely to miss those options even on a cross-country flight.
As with the A380, power outlets are shared between seats. Unlike the A380, the power outlet is located in the seat underneath you, which makes connecting it a tad fiddly. However, that doesn’t stop it being useful. The USB port has also been relocated, but its position next to the entertainment screen (rather than the arm-rest) works pretty well.
I’m not sure how long it will be (if ever) before we see A330-200s on shorter haul trips. But they’re definitely welcome on the Perth-East Coast route.