Sunday, April 25, 2004

# Posted 8:18 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

why it is that in-flight movies are so uniformly bad. There is rarely an Oscar winner shown on flights, and the movies appear to range from barely tolerable to profoundly awful.
Well, if you want high-quality films along with attentive service and reasonable food, you should fly Virgin Atlantic. I've flown from London to New York around a half-dozen times with VA and have almost always had something good to watch. Best of all are those flights on the newest VA planes, which are equipped with a sort of video jukebox that gives each passenger a choice of 50+ films to watch along with 50+ hours of TV (including The Simpsons, Ali G, etc.). Moreover, you can control the box the same way you would a DVD player: start the film whenever you want, pause it to go the bathroom, etc.

Among the films I've seen on VA are Igby Goes Down, which came highly recommended by Mr. Chafetz, and the very clever Japanese bank-heist farce, Space Travelers (not to be confused with the animated film of the same name and from it which it borrows playfully). Of course, VA gives you the right to watch bad films as well. Once, I made it through 30 minutes of watching Ben Affleck as Daredevil. Mr. Affleck should be shot.

Anyhow, the question remains as to why VA has better in-flight entertainment. In general, in-flight films are supposed to be as inoffensive and unstimulating as possible. If you look up "least common denominator" in the thesaurus, you'll probably see "in-flight films" listed first. However, Virgin prides itself on being a maverick in the airline industry. It built up its successful business by challenging the staid and government-backed British Airways (which is a perfectly good airline). This rebellious corporate culture -- embodied by CEO Richard Branson -- tends to affect all aspects of the VA experience, from the unorthodox style of animation used for the pre-flight safety video to the choice of films shown on board. Perhaps the best expression of Virgin's rebellious attitude is the fact that its in-flight magazine sometimes gives bad reviews to the films being shown on board. Now that is service.
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment