The Best (and Worst) In-Flight Entertainment

Thanksgiving only feels like yesterday, but it is one again time to travel for the holidays. Which airline do you fly with and how do you choose?  Cost certainly has a big influence. For some, leg-room may be the deciding factor.  Others may choose an airline because of its in-flight entertainment and technology.

If you’re looking to make sure your next flight has Wi-Fi, New York Times technology columnist, Molly Wood, has you covered. She made this video to accompany her piece about some desperately needed updates in in-flight entertainment.

It turns out that Virgin America is the “cream of the crop” when it comes to tech-friendly airlines. Wood calls it the, “domestic in-flight dream…”

Yes, every flight has (newly upgraded) Wi-Fi, power outlets and USB ports.

But every plane also has seat-back TVs that stream live television and offer on-demand movies and TV (free to Main Cabin Select and first-class passengers).

The TVs serve as touch-screen ordering systems for food and drinks, which are then delivered directly to your seat. You can use them to play games and chat with other passengers, and Virgin America just introduced a new feature that lets you send a drink to another passenger on the plane.

So if you fly with Virgin America, you can rest easy knowing that your flight will be anything but blah.

JetBlue, Southwest and Delta deserve honorable mentions. Each airline has their variation of Wi-Fi/media options, along with different price points.

United and American Airlines’ in-flight tech depends largely on which plane is being flown, so your milage may vary.

The future of entertainment looks to be in satellite internet. Most airlines are using Gogo as their internet provider. But unless you fly all the time or just really need the internet, the price ($16 a day or $60 per month) may not be worth a few hours of web surfing.

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