Just When You Thought It Was Safe
I recently boarded an American Airlines 737 with big plans to catch up on some movies I’d missed in the theater. As I approached my seat, I noticed that the airplane was sparkling new and therefore I naturally assumed I’d be greeted with the latest in onboard entertainment technology.
Imagine my horror when I laid eyes on the tragic, empty shell that used to house the seat-back video units that we’ve come to expect onboard civilized airliners.
Airlines are finding it much more economical to provide content accessed through their own WiFi portals via a passenger’s own smartphone and/or tablets. Sometimes content and WiFi is free and sometimes it’s not, it depends on the content and the airline.
Tip: Always Pack Your Tablet!
Luckily, I always carry my iPad with me as this wasn’t my first rodeo and I’d been let down by airlines more than once or a hundred times before. Just as I muttered something to myself about having to hold my tablet in viewing position the whole flight, I was surprised and grateful to discover that the new seats had been equipped with tray-tables featuring very handy flaps to hold tablets and phones upright for easy movie watching, even with meal trays present.
But the experience got me thinking…which airlines really offer the best inflight entertainment options when all is said and done?
Ranking In-Flight Entertainment
A recent inflight entertainment report, from CableTV.com breaks down the offerings and ranks them from best to worst to make choosing your next flight easier.
Here are more details of CableTV.com’s ranking logic:
Alaska Airlines ranked first amongst the 10 major US airline companies — offering just a little more of everything in comparison to their competitors.
More airlines are rolling out free in-air messaging — this in-flight perk is offered on Alaska Airlines, Southwest, Delta, JetBlue, and (very select) United flights.
Four airlines tied for fourth place: American Airlines, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, and United.
Unsurprisingly, the three distinctively budget US airline companies, Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit Airlines tied for the lowest position, offering no entertainment options to their passengers.
Does an airline’s in-flight entertainment program influence your choice of airline?