Airlines caught off guard by Apple announcement

Two of the airlines included in Apple’s in-flight iPod connectivity announcement yesterday claim that they have not yet agreed to add such features to their planes. Apple said yesterday that beginning in mid-2007, six airlines—Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United—will offer passengers iPod seat connections for charging and video playback. However, Air France and KLM say they aren’t officially onboard.

“It’s way too early to confirm any such details,” said an Air France spokeswoman, referring to the connectivity and a mid-2007 availability date. “It’s very premature what Apple are saying,” said a KLM spokesman, noting that there have only been “informal contacts” between Apple and the airline. “We have no idea if this is technically feasible, if it’s financially viable, or if customers want it,” he said. “At this moment, we have absolutely no intention of introducing it on board.”

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr responded to the airlines with a statement. “Clearly we have had a miscommunication with AirFrance and KLM, but we are excited about announcing iPod integration with in-flight entertainment systems on Continental, Delta, Emirates and United today,” Neumayr said.

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