Do red-eye flights tire you out? Imagine if a single leg took more than 15 hours. That’s the new reality with “super-haul flights.”
With aviation technology’s continued evolution, flights are getting longer. For evidence, look no further than the 16-hour ride from New Delhi to San Francisco, the 18-hour Newark to Singapore trek, or the potential 21-hour flight between London and Sydney.
More and more airlines are meeting new demand for direct long-haul flights. At the same time, airlines know that keeping passengers occupied and at ease for all those hours up in the air is no small feat. Not even an expert plane sleeper can keep their eyes shut in an inflight environment for 15+ hours, and there are only so many inflight movies a passenger can watch before cabin fever takes hold.
As an industry leader, you know inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems are the cornerstone of any passenger experience. IFEC will become even more critical as flights grow in length, and ultimately it will form part of the pitch airlines give to customers when promoting super-haul flights.
Keep reading to learn how your airline can think about the passenger journey and position your IFEC offerings to customers traveling on some of the world’s longest flights.
Hours 1 and 2: Start with some news and a morning talk show over breakfast. When you get up early for a flight, it’s nice to kick back with a cup of coffee and find out what’s going on in the world. Live television and the ability to watch local news programming are great options to tap into as the flight rises to cruising altitude.
Hour 3: Text friends and family and let them know the flight left on time. After you’ve eaten breakfast, sipped your morning java, and settled in, it’s a good time to catch up with friends and family via Wi-Fi-enabled chat and messaging programs. Let them know your flight status, remind your house sitter where you left the spare key, and stay in touch and up-to-date on your friends’ text messaging threads.
Hour 4: Check email while listening to a custom music playlist. With modern IFEC systems, checking email and accessing your own content is becoming a normal part of the passenger experience. There’s no better way to ease into a day in the air than listening to your favorite music with a digital inflight audio solution and going through your regular routine without any delays or headaches.
Hour 5: Go shopping. Need a gift for someone back home, someone at your destination, or maybe just yourself? Airlines are making duty-free stores more accessible through their apps. Preview and set aside items to buy onboard, and easily pay via the IFE seatback. Loyalty programs through credit cards and e-commerce platforms are also enabling a more seamless transfer from your on-the-ground life to your time on the flight, helping you save even when airborne.
Hour 6: Finish that presentation and send it to your boss. Now that you’ve crossed shopping off your to-do list, you can get some of your day-to-day work done. Make those last-minute presentation changes your boss is asking for by hopping back into your email and accessing your most important work apps.
“IFEC will become even more critical as flights grow in length, and ultimately it will form part of the pitch airlines give to customers when promoting super-haul flights.”
Hour 7: Play your favorite game over lunch. If you’re an avid gamer, taking a 15-hour break from your favorite game can seem unthinkable. Gaming on IFE systems is becoming a more common offering, for both the die-hards and casual gamers. In fact, many people find it relaxing and comforting to play a game on mobile or seatback IFE screen. Eat a sandwich, then rescue some baby animals!
Hour 8: Treat yourself to some relaxation by winding down after work with a wellness program. New content partnerships have enabled more and more inflight wellness programming to help you feel grounded even when you’re up in the sky. To improve your passenger experience, tune into a guided meditation recording to relax and quiet your mind. In the near future, passengers will also benefit from some next-level wellness features.
Hours 9 and 10: Choose a movie to watch on multiple screens, with personalized recommendations. Now that you’ve taken some time to relax, what better time is there to catch up on that movie you meant to see in the theater? The one difference: With a modern inflight entertainment system, you can now have a superior cinematic experience inflight. Today, rather than an SD or even an HD screen, you can increasingly expect a 4K display and digital quality audio, paired with recommendation engines to provide a great movie-watching experience.
Hour 11: Check your stock portfolio, travel itinerary, check in with travel agent about that hotel booking in destination. Welcome back from your amazing action movie! You’ve been doing such a great job of relaxing, you may have forgotten to check your stock portfolio, your updated travel itinerary, or your social media feed. Now is a great time to get back online to catch up on more of those tasks you’ve been putting off since you’re starting to get a little…bit…drowsy….
Hours 12-16: Get some well-deserved rest. You’ve already had a full day of work, play, relaxation, and communication. Take a break to unwind and rest up for that golf game, dinner date, business meeting, or city tour you have planned when you arrive at your destination.
Hour 17-18: Learn about your destination over breakfast. When you wake up, it’s probably time to grab a glass of orange juice and another cup of coffee or tea. You’ve come so far, and it’s hard to believe your flight will touch down in less than two hours! Thanks to advances in customization, you can continue to sit back and get personalized destination tips directly on your seatback.
Short of taking a morning jog and shower, it’s truly incredible how much a passenger can accomplish and experience—and at considerable quality—thanks to new and emerging inflight entertainment innovations. Instead of being a cause of cabin fever for your passengers, the longest flights in the world are increasingly becoming a source of cabin pleasure. Now they just have to buy the ticket and take the ride.