How to survive inflight entertainment

Culture Screen Travel

Ahhh, the long vacation. At last, examinations and coursework assessments are behind us and we are finally permitted to relax. Well, with the slight aside of vacation reading that is. In order to fully escape from the clutches of such texts and memories of those ever more muggy libraries, many of us may be tempted to jet off to far flung lands in search of a holiday. But sometimes, such travels can bring along further problems.

Last vacation, I was lucky enough to travel to Japan and New Zealand to visit family and to explore that side of the world. The benefits? Beautiful scenery, interesting histories and the chance to fly over to visit Australia for a weekend as well. The negatives? Excessively long flights.

As someone who’d barely travelled anywhere that wasn’t a short train ride away, the boring, slightly nauseating isolation that is flying had not been an issue I had ever had to master before. Thankfully, owing to inflight entertainment, it was not one I had to face alone. Here are some tips on how to make the most of the TV and film offered through inflight entertainment that I picked up from my recent experience with it.

  1. Find out what’s available before you fly

As with all inflight services, some airlines offer more than others. It’s a good idea to get an idea of the quality of the inflight entertainment you’ll be receiving before you fly, to avoid disappointment. Checking listings prior to flying will also allow you to plan to bring other things to do if necessary.

  1. Bring your own headphones

This may seem like an obvious point, but I consider it such an important one that I had to list it anyway! Remaining comfortable is key on long flights, and this will be a struggle when using the airline supplied headphones. If the inflight film and television options seem promising after your research, make sure not to forget to prepare for watching them.

  1. Make a favourites list

If this is possible on your inflight entertainment service, do so at the beginning of your flight. Without a list, if you’re anything like me, by the mid-point of your flight you’ll be aimlessly scrolling through titles that don’t interest you without hope, allowing the flight fatigue to make you miss any entertainment options that would help alleviate it. By making a list of films and television programmes of interest to you at the start of your flight, you can keep returning to a list of things that will keep you interested through the hours instead.

  1. Stick to what you know

Something that’s surprised me when flying long distances recently is how much more I have enjoyed watching films that I’ve already seen, rather than films I have wanted to see but not had the chance to until flying. The familiarity of an already enjoyable film is much better in helping time pass by enjoyably than the excitement of a new one – when it’s shown on such a small, often pixelated screen.

  1. Watch anything that is new to you first

This should mean that the tiredness stemming from the long flight doesn’t damage your opinion of a film that’s new to you. Television shows are more accessible owing to their different format, but be aware airlines often only carry a few episodes of shows and so can leave you with annoying cliffhangers, or spoil earlier episodes of episodes not available on the plane.

  1. Beware of illness

An important point to bear in mind if you get travel sick is to avoid any films which may cause nausea. Never have I been more aware of strange camera angles or movements than when they’ve occurred in the recent films I’ve watched on inflight entertainment. Also keep in mind that if gory scenes or fast actions scenes make you feel unwell in a ground-based cinema, you’re unlikely to find them any easier from a picture theatre thirty thousand feet in the air, travelling at over five hundred miles per hour.

To finish, I must add that I certainly cannot claim to be the expert on matters of this regard. These points merely act as a summary of some things that struck me as maybe being useful points to keep in mind. They worked for me, and seem applicable to others, but the key to comfort on long flights is in finding what works for you in particular. To all reading this, whether seasoned travellers or complete newbies to flying, safe travels.

Image Credit: MaxPixel