Play and Save: Six HNA Group Airlines Introducing New IFE Tablets With Reward Systems

You might have heard about one being rewarded for playing games, but did you know that this creative marketing approach is now adopted by airlines? Meet the latest version of AirBox tablet from Shareco. Besides the typical in-flight entertainment (IFE) options, such as movies, music, e-books, games, and duty free shopping, AirBox tablets even have a reward system. Users can earn points while using the tablet and redeem the points to unlock paid content, receive duty free items, and even get hotel discounts.



Shareco is a HNA Group-subsidiary dedicated to in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions. Since 2013, Shareco has been cooperating with various HNA Group airlines to provide AirBox tablets on planes that do not feature personal television (PTV). The tablets are placed in the seat pockets at each seat. According to Shareco, AirBox has been well-received among passengers. In an AirBox-equipped cabin, 82.7% flyers use AirBox; the using time averages at 43 minutes. Passengers who choose to purchase items have been spending an average of 1027 RMB (around 150 USD) per person. Shareco is expecting the numbers to further grow with the new reward system.

The AirBox reward system involves first-time users setting up an account to accumulate points during future flights. After logging in, passengers will be assigned “tasks” such as shopping and playing games. Points will be awarded after completing tasks. Certain tasks, such as playing “Hypoxic College Entrance Exam” (a Trivia-like game), will even earn users double points.

Points and trophies earned are showed on the top left of the screen

With the points earned, users can purchase premium content, such as digital courses, and/or obtain free in-flight Wi-Fi minutes. In the future, items available for redemption will be greatly expanded: in the air, duty free products and coupons; on the ground, discounts at car rental companies and hotels. Reaching certain number of points will also earn users trophies and unlock other special promotions.

“Point Earning Master” Trophy

To further attract passengers to use the AirBox tablets, Shareco will be cooperating with major streaming media to allow limited release of episodes from popular web series on AirBox. Another highlight is the new feedback feature, which allows customers to share their experience and opinions, and the paid digital courses.

Digital Course App

Over recent years, Chinese carriers have been becoming increasingly creative. An HNA Group example is Mercedez Benz sponsoring Hainan Airlines to provide free Wi-Fi on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This is an interesting adoption of the Wi-Fi sponsorship model which is more commonly seen on the ground. However, the new reward system on AirBox is on a whole other level.

There are so many potentials that the point system brings. For example, additional points can be provided to customers who use Didi (Chinese version of Uber and Lyft) on AirBox to plan their ground transportation. Didi has come up with a reservation plan dedicated to AirBox users. A point-promotion will lead customers to consider using Didi instead of cheaper public transportation options or taxis.

Another example is the cooperation with iYuwan, a company that focuses on smartphone game apps. An AirBox-task of playing an iYuwan game may lead to customers downloading the game on their phones upon arrival. A simple task of watching commercials will also improve the effects of IFE advertisements. Points awarded while purchasing certain items or reaching a certain amount of purchase will also greatly increase customers’ will to engage in in-flight shopping.

Last but not least, a user profile will make possible the customization of in-flight entertainment content. With the data from individual customers, airlines can understand each flyer’s preferences and provide options that cater to individuals. The possibilities are endless.

The new AirBox will be available on certain HNA Group airlines, including Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Capital Airlines, Yangtze River Airlines, Air Changan, and Air Guilin. A total of 209 aircraft on over 800 routes will see the latest AirBox system.


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