There’s one surefire way to transform your long and boring international flight into an entertaining experience that passes in a snap. Simply make sure you’re heading to a destination serviced by an airline that ranks at the top of the in-flight entertainment scale. Since it would be tough to touch on every single airline’s entertainment options, we focused on seven well-known for keeping passengers playfully occupied while flying overseas.
Singapore Airline passengers are typically wildly amused with KrisWorld, the airline’s award-winning in-flight entertainment program. In addition to movies, TV and radio shows, CDs, games and audiobooks, some aircraft feature USB ports you can use to plug into the system and turn it into a personal PDF reader, media player or photo viewer. The seat-back system is also equipped with Berlitz language learning programs, cultural tutorials, guides, and all the gate, baggage claim, and flight connection info you may need.
Emirates has long reigned supreme for its in-flight entertainment system, nabbing top honors for the past 10 years running. And the system just keeps getting better. Most routes serve up more than 1,500 channels featuring gads of TV shows, movies, games, and music. All channels are on-demand and available in numerous languages. You can also tap into world news direct from BBC, check out all your pertinent flight information, and even access the view from a camera mounted right on the aircraft.
One of the biggest perks of Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment system is the cost – which is absolutely free. Enjoy the seat-back system packed with some 150 movies, 200 TV shows, 100 playlists and music albums, as well as sections for podcasts, audiobooks and television for kids. Another perk is always-on system access, as it remains running during takeoff and landing.
Although JetBlue is a discount carrier, it doesn’t skimp when it comes to in-flight entertainment. All planes feature dedicated screens in each seat, serving up more than 35 DIRECTV channels, 100 SiriusXM radio channels, and free first-run movies on international flights.
Most Lufthansa planes offer a free in-flight entertainment system packed with dozens of movies and TV shows, a sports channel, radio and music selections, business books and language classes, and a lineup of games. Kids can also enjoy with the “KidsFun” movies, audiobooks and music programming.
Qantas serves up quantity, and vast amounts of it, with A380 aircraft packed with no fewer than 1,500 entertainment options. Its other aircraft may have more like 500 or 300 options, but all will leave you with oodles of movies, TV shows, music, radio stations, games, and news.
Since the airline does fly from the U.S. to Mexico, it’s technically international. And it’s definitely worth mentioning as its in-flight entertainment system has been heavily hailed by several airline associations and publications. Being the best is no coincidence, perhaps, when the airline owns its own entertainment company.
In-flight entertainment is served up by a system known as Red, which comes fully stocked with movies, music videos, live TV, games, and songs from the music library. The 9-inch screen can also be used for in-flight chats with other passengers and ordering refreshments. Using Red is free for everything except newly released movies.
Most United flights come with the standard screen of movies, TVs, and game, however, the most recent flight we’ve reordered had low-quality TV. If you’re traveling more than a few hours, you may consider bringing your own device to entertain yourself.
Whether you’re flying on Singapore Airlines, hopping on Qantas, or taking another carrier with one of the top in-flight entertainment systems, your time on board is likely to fly by – literally.