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Inflight entertainment

I’m pretty excited about the new Qantas inflight entertainment systems that they will be installing on the Airbus A380 aircraft. On board internet access (I’ll have to try posting to this blog!), USB sockets, better games and 500 cd’s of music (hopefully some will be soundtracks) amongst the features.

The one I’m most looking forward to is the pilot’s eye camera view. My favourite form of inflight entertainment is simply looking out the window, staring at the dry floodplains of desert Australia, the busy nights of Asian cities, the canals of Amsterdam. I also keep an eye out for high clouds and other possible sources of turbulence. While I stare I’m either listening to the plane’s audio or my own source of music.

If there is something displayed on my screen it is generally the moving map, so I know where I am and how much longer until we escape the turbulence once and for all (i.e. landing).

Sometimes looking out the window isn’t an option. It might be dark and featureless outside, the airline has enforced closed blinds or I am just not in the window seat. It is at these times that other forms of inflight entertainment comes to the fore.

Everyone talks about Audio-Visual On Demand systems or AVOD. You chose which movie to watch and when. Strangely enough, I’ve only twice experienced it during my flights. I tend to get older style systems where the programs run in set cycles.

I find that light, non-taxing entertainment works best while flying. I’ve found myself enjoying movies that I would otherwise think awful.

While I don’t enjoy trying to watch a ceiling mounted television I did quite enjoy the big screen presentations on our Qantas honeymoon flight to Europe. In such situations you are limited to a single choice, but it does give you an opportunity to watch movies you would otherwise ignore. Sharing laughter with my wife at Bridget Jones’ Diary and Legally Blonde was fun, though she somehow managed to sleep through One Night at McCools (and so, I suspect, did the cast and crew).

Of course, there are always books to read, reports to write and photos to organise – if only the batteries hold up. For that reason I am looking forward to a power supply in economy. Bring on the gadgets!

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