Airplane entertainment vouchers on the horizon?

I don’t know about you, but whenever I fly intercontinentally I go through two emotions in rather quick successions: Happiness, because I can finally watch all these movies I didn’t have the time for at home, and sickness, due to the really bad screen quality in those on-board entertainment boxes.

So, Lufthansa announced a couple of days ago that they will get rid of these complimentary newspapers and magazines they hand out during or shortly after boarding. I rarely get any because the ones I actually want are gone within seconds and/or are these unwieldy piles of paper for which you probably have to book another seat anyway just to be able to read them.

Instead, you will be able to use your booking code to download up to two journals starting 3 days before your flight. While that is nice, it kind of feels like yet another thing airlines remove from their service list, at least for those who don’t have a device to download PDFs to before the flight. Here some people at least get a replacement that may or may not be better. Still…

That being said, I’ll definitely give it a try but let’s think (i.e. dream) a bit further: Wouldn’t it be great if something like that were also offered for movies during intercontinental flights? Not as a direct replacement for the current on-board systems but as an add-on. At least for me it might help save a bit of money on prescription glasses but movies are definitely a much harder problem and given the catastrophe some people call “movie licensing” that probably won’t happen, but one can dream 😉

The big difference between newspapers and movies is here, that one has only a very limited “shelf-life”. Stories are mostly relevant for not much longer than a week but movies are made for much longer. You’d also have the problem of how to get these files onto passengers’ devices. PDFs are easy, but how would you go about movies? Offer iTunes vouchers for iOS users only or partner for instance with Amazon? Going with a DRM-free solution is so much farther down the road to dreamland, it’s hard to describe. Still… it would be soooooo awesome!

But before I get too excited, I should see what they offer me on my flight to Brussels in two weeks first 😉 If they have Edge Magazine, I’m 100% sold!

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