American Airlines Inflight Entertainment
GOL, AIRASIAX, SCOOT
Brazilian low-cost carrier Gol in September 2011 was one of the first airlines to roll out flightglobal.com
a wireless IFE platform on board its B737 aircraft. Called shows .com.br
sports, games and music channels at no charge. The entertainment platform .com.br
is automatically updated with the latest content on landing at nine airports in Brazil. Gol said it plans to offer the Gol No Ar service on 380 daily flights by year-end.
At first, access will be available for laptops, iPhones and iPads, with other tablets and smartphones to follow in the future. Surprisingly for a low-cost airline, the service is free to passengers, who only need to have a Wi-Fi enabled device.
AirAsiaX In Asia, AirAsia X, the long-haul low-cost affiliate of Malaysian-based AirAsia, has announced it will trial apex.aero
a wireless IFE system on the Kuala Lumpur to London route in early 2012. Some of the content will be available for free to passengers, whereas a fee will be charged for movies, music and e-magazines. Passengers without their own wi-fi-enabled device will be able to rent a tablet from the airline. The wireless IFE system will be provided by Tune Box, which is also part of the Tune Group tunegroup.com
Scoot Singapore start-up airline Scoot will opt for iPads or Android tablets rented to customers instead of conventional in-seat video screens when wireless streaming and including tablets, which could be iPad or they Business Traveller .com.au
music wirelessly to devices which the airline would rent out to content preloaded onto tablets, as currently offered by low-cost airlines such as Jetstar, airBaltic and Iceland Express.
Unlike most of the other airlines reviewed, I have not flown with Singapore personally, and in fact I have only one close friend who has.
I suspect many of our readers have not and will not either, but its award-winning in-flight entertainment program is worth mentioning. Their KrisWorld system is pretty advanced; including all the now-expected movies, audio, TV programs, games and radio programs, on some planes the system even has a USB port so you can use the system as a personal media player, photo viewer or PDF reader. Some aircraft have up to 80 movies, hundreds of CDs and even audio books, and feature iPod and iPhone connectivity, all offered in a dozen different languages. The system offers language learning programs from Berlitz, business and cultural tutorials, Rough Guides, and live connection, gate and baggage claim information. If you end up on a Singapore flight, comment below and tell us about it!
Virgin America has been voted the airline with the best in-flight entertainment system a few times now by various publications and name and ownership with an entertainment company.
If these guys got beat by, say, a company named WestJet, it would be a bit embarrassing Really, it blows everything else away.
It has it all, with an unusually easy to navigate touch-screen system, right down to a seat-to-seat chat system that allows you to message friends and family in other parts of the plane. In-flight Wi-Fi, movies, satellite TV, a not to mention the ability to order food and drink whenever you want, and power outlets in every seat. The whole show takes place on a nine-inch screen that is just about the same size as an iPad, and everything except some first-run movies is included in the cost of your airfare on all flights. No one else comes close.
Show * Program content is subject to change. * Occasionally, the lineup at the beginning of the month will be the same as the previous month and that at the end of the month will be the same as the following month. * Audio content is not available on some Boeing 787 aircraft. * Program or channel may differ from aircraft.
Due in part to the fleet diversity issues noted in the intro above, but it holds its own with a decent selection of TV shows, as well as movies and games.
Children in particular are treated well, with a channels. The system is included in the cost of the airfare in all seat classes, so everyone is happy. LUFTHANSA offers a free in-flight system on most planes that features up to 50 movies, 40 TV programs, a dedicated sports channel, 30 radio and language courses, with menus in several languages. They also have for kids. The Canadian airline WESTJET has a similar system to JetBlue, with live satellite seat-back TV in every seat on most Boeing 737 flights, plus pay-per-view movies on flights over 2.
5 hours. On flights serving the U.S.
, Caribbean and Mexico, WestJet offers tablets rentals with stored programming in place of live seat-back TV. You do have to buy a you can use it on any future WestJet flights.
ICELANDAIR offers a heap of movies, TV and music for the cost of the headphones, and you can keep the headphones so your next flight is free. is a bit like an iPad and features more than 75 movies, TV shows, music and destination information, which you can reserve in advance could get shut out, and to reserve a player you have to register with Alaska, so it is a bit of an ordeal just to watch a movie. Despite the price and the possible hassle of reserving and making room in your seat for the player, the approach is interesting, so I wanted to include it here.
I know no one at all who has flown with Emirates, but they win as many awards as Virgin America does. On most routes, you can choose from more than 1,500 channels of movies, TV shows, music, and games, as well as world news direct from BBC, current flight information and Select flights also offer Wi-Fi plans for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Shortly after its launch a little more than a decade ago, JetBlue acquired the company LiveTV, and subsequently installed DIRECTV on all JetBlue planes, with a dedicated screen in every seat. A couple of years later, the airline added satellite radio, TV shows and movies to the offerings. For a discount carrier, this was a bold move. channels of DIRECTV, 100 channels of SiriusXM radio and first-run of aircraft, and is working to get the system installed across the free, with a high-bandwidth plan available for purchase.
THE LEGACY AIRLINES
When I wrote AMERICAN AIRLINES to ask for help figuring out the entertainment offerings across its vast and varied fleet, a rep had to send me six Word documents to cover everything, whew.
On the whole, American offers free access to NBC TV and 18 American radio stations, plus a pay system starting at $4 of seat-back TVs on its newest and refurbished planes, and overhead screens on its older jets. DELTA is trying hard to offer some variety, with overhead movies and short programs on some flights and seat-back screens with on demand TV and movies on other flights. Everything is on a pay-per-view basis, though movies on demand are free in all cabins on international flights and on flights to/from Hawaii and Alaska. merger created something of a Frankenstein monster of aircraft and passengers have access to a seat-back on-demand system with movies, TV, music, games and language classes. Some domestic aircraft offer DIRECTV, while others offer overhead screens.
Headsets are free but access to DIRECTV is not, costing $5.99 for flights under two hours and $7.99 on flights longer than two hours. Have you had a different experience with any of these airlines? Did we miss something? Have you seen a better in-flight system than those we listed above? Let us know in the comments!
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