In flight entertainment systems (IFE) have been a part of travel packages for many years. The latest IFE systems, however, include everything from in seat USB power ports to viewing screens that show the progress of a traveler’s individual flight. And while many people think of movies and music when they think about IFE systems, the fact of the matter is there is an entire industry behind scenes trying to figure out what can keep travelers entertained and distracted during their travel.
In a time of rising flight costs and increased airport security waits, it should come as no surprise that airline engineers continue to find ways to make the flight itself more bearable and more comfortable. As seats get smaller and leg room decreases, in fact, it is often the case that a funny comedy or an airplane power adapter are the only items that can make traveling bearable. At any aircraft interiors expo event, manufacturers demonstrate their latest advancements in an effort to get their in flight entertainment systems in more and more aircraft. And while switching out an IFE is both complicated and complex, some of the most profitable airlines realize that what they offer their customers while they are in the air is sometimes as important as the prices that charge.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the habits of airline passengers and how manufacturers are trying to meet the needs of today’s travel consumers:
- 41% of airline passengers indicate that they watch movies while they travel.
- 41% of airline passengers indicate that they read while they travel.
- 17% of airline passengers indicate that they prefer to sleep while they travel.
- More than 8 million people fly on an average day.
- Surpassing the 3 billion mark for the first time ever, total passenger numbers were 3.1 billion in the year 2013.
- 25% of respondents would choose one airline over another if it offered WiFi, according to TripAdvisor’s 2013 Air Travel Survey.
We have all felt the anxious concern that can consume us when we walk down the narrow aisle of an airplane attempting to locate our seat. For the one third of us who know that we have to sit in the center seat, we will immediately be looking for any distraction that the in flight entertainment system can provide.