It’s not easy sitting on an airplane for hours on end. Long-haul flights can be brutal. For years, airlines relied on the charm of the flight itself as entertainment. Flying was an occasion — the flight as exciting as the destination. As we rely more and more on air travel, that has changed. Lucky for us, so have airlines. Here are the airlines with the best in-flight entertainment.
Dubai’s flagship carrier is consistently ranked on lists for the best airline. Its “Ice” entertainment system also gets high marks from travelers. It offers more than 2,500 channels of movies, TV shows, music and games — all on demand and in multiple languages. Speaking of languages, depending on where you’re going, you might want to brush up on your Arabic, French, German, Italian or Spanish, which you can do via their uTalk videos.
Another Middle Eastern air carrier, Qatar Airways has a similar offering to Emirates. They have more than 3,000 viewing and listening options. For movies, you can get Hollywood hits, as well as Arabic, Bollywood and European films. Countless TV shows and thousands of hours of music in every genre are also available — plus games ranging from checkers to casino favorites.
The 787 Dreamliner plane, operated by Norwegian Air, is one I have personally experienced. Pushing aside the perks of the plane itself, the entertainment choices were numerous and excellent. They have Oscar-winning and nominated films (they publish a list of what’s currently playing online). They have an interactive 3D map to explore where you’re going — and where you’re at in the sky (good for at least 30 minutes of fun, plus occasional “are we there yet?” check-ins). Most of their flights within Europe also offer live TV.
The London-based carrier was the first to unveil individual TVs in all of its cabin classes in 1991. They’ve kept up with their revolutionary ideals, offering a great film mix, TV shows, music and games with their Vera system.
Another air carrier renowned for its in-flight entertainment options is Singapore Airlines, whose KrisWorld system is full of fun stuff. Traditional and modern games are offered. More than 1,000 movies, and even more TV shows, also cater to a wide array of ages.
A hodgepodge of entertainment offerings can be found on select Turkish Airlines flights. It’s a little bit of everything through their digital Planet entertainment system. Classic films, international films and movies for kids are all a part of that sector of entertainment. Then there’s the music. Like other airlines offering a mix of worldwide music and local flair, Turkish Airlines delivers popular music and traditional Turkish folk. They also have a games channel for single or multiple players. Plus no Wi-Fi package is necessary to send text messages, go through email, receive weather and news updates and get information on your destination and more through the system.