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IFE... What Is All The Hype About?  
User currently offlineMoparman From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 411 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

Folks, please don't misunderstand what I am saying here as I enjoy watching a movie and other programming on long flights. But seriously, what is all the hype here about IFE? I guess I am old enough to remember a time when the captain came over the intercom announcing position, altitude, and ground speed. I find it much more enjoyable looking out of the window and seeing the clouds below me, and the countryside or ocean then sitting in a darkened tube watching a movie. Watching movies I can do at home - seeing the Earth from 35000 feet is something special to me.

I think far too much time is given to which airline has the best IFE. IFE is such a trivial thing. NONE of it is any good. The screens are crap; the head sets lousy.... For those of you into Rock & Roll, come to my house and I will crank up my Adcom amp and my Cerwin Vegas. The point is none of the IFE is really good and in my humble opinion, looking out of the window is the best IFE you can get.

[Edited 2006-01-16 05:40:02]

[Edited 2006-01-16 05:41:03]


"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCentrair From Japan, joined Jan 2005, 3599 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3860 times:

I agree with you...except when you are in the middle section of a plane and can't see out the window. A movie does pass the time. (This applies most to NW 744s.)

But as most movies shown on planes are crap, I bring a book.
And if I want to sleep...bring a boring book.

When I flew ORD-HKG a fews years back, the window was much better than two Billy Crystal movies in a row. The view was spectacular all the way.



Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11154 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3852 times:

You do have a point, but keep in mind that not everyone can enjoy a window seat.

I, as an aviation enthusiast, have a few times been unable to get a window seat, and I pass the time by watching TV and sleeping (at least trying to).

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3852 times:

Ok. Whatever. Please.

IFE exists. Carriers offer it. Passengers enjoy it. I enjoy it. Its a differentiator, and an important one.

I remember a time when the "Internet" was all text based. What's all this hype about pictures and the "world wide web"?

N


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20368 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3844 times:

Ever flown LAX-SYD? 16 hours or so. All water. You sleep 8 hours (which is damned near impossible jammed into seat 36B) and still have 8 hours to go.

By the end of the flight you're ready to tear out your hair and you have exhausted every possible "comfortable" position.

Trust me, IFE is practically a human necessity.

Long-haul air travel puts humans in a wholly unnatural environment that is unhealthy, stressful, and unpleasant. For the vast majority of us who fly in steerage, it cramps us into entirely too little personal space, bores us to tears, and doesn't let us move at all. I now flat-out refuse to fly long-haul on an airline without PTV's.

And I *do* read. Lots. But I can't read 16 hours straight.


User currently offlineMoparman From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 411 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3840 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 3):
I remember a time when the "Internet" was all text based. What's all this hype about pictures and the "world wide web"?

Apples and Oranges - enough said. Please read my posting concerning IFE.



DocLightning:

I am certainly not arguing against IFE. I am just saying that it is given far too much importance. I have never flown the 16 hour flight you spoke of. I did fly from ATL to JNB on SAA going to Nairobi. This was the longest flight I have ever been on outside of the military. In November 1990, I spent 28 solid hours in the cargo hold of a C-130 enroute to Diago Garcia. A good IFE would have been a plus there  bigthumbsup 

[Edited 2006-01-16 05:56:19]


"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
User currently offlinePEK18R36L From China, joined Dec 2005, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

Air travel is not ideal for people who like good food or good entertainment.

While some airline entertainment systems are definitely better than others, anyone who flies frequently enough to fret about how rarely the movies change should BYO IFE. My personal kit is good book, full iPod, and a laptop loaded with games.

Frankly, all I want from my airline is an over-the-shoulder reading lamp and a power outlet in the seat. They can keep the rest.

David



In China, everything is possible - but nothing is easy.
User currently offlineAfterburner From Indonesia, joined Jun 2005, 1221 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3819 times:

Quoting Moparman (Thread starter):
I find it much more enjoyable looking out of the window and seeing the clouds below me, and the countryside or ocean

OK. But tell me how about the majority of passengers who don't sit on the window seats? Even when you are on a window seat, what do you want see from inside an evening 14-hours long-haul flight flying at 35000 feet?


User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1343 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3818 times:
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I partially agree with you. On domestic flights I often don't even bother watching a movie.

Last week I took a 10 hour flight from Rome in a coach middle seat. The fantastic IFE dramatically improved the overall experience. Even if I had a window I wouldn't want to look at the ocean for several hours straight.

On my flight TO Rome I had a lie flat premium seat with a few windows to myself and excellent food/drinks/service. During this flight I was able to enjoy a fantastic view of the night sky over the Atlantic.

Excellent service reduces the importance of IFE for me. However, I can't always count on excellent service - regardless of airline or seating class. IFE is pretty reliable.



Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
User currently offlineHZ747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1711 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3799 times:
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Try 15 hours from Dhahran to JFK in a Pan Am 747SP. We had the four seats in the middle, in the smoking section. I would have killed to been able to watch my own TV. By the end of that flight, between the boredom and the smoke, I swore never to fly again! But I was six, and decisions like that at that age are usually short-lived.

I disagree that too much attention is paid to it, because it is purely suggestive. Poster PEK18R36L laments that all he needs is a reading lamp. On my last flight from SYD - SFO, I read "Air Babylon" from start to finish and still had six hours to find something to do... In this age of long-life batteries, laptops, and portable DVD players, I suspect IFE will shift and become the responsibility of the passenger. However, in Ryanair's case, I wondered how comfortable it would be to watch movies on a laptop, that's literally in your lap with no tray table.



Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlineMoparman From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 411 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3790 times:

Quoting Molykote (Reply 8):
On my flight TO Rome I had a lie flat premium seat with a few windows to myself and excellent food/drinks/service. During this flight I was able to enjoy a fantastic view of the night sky over the Atlantic.

Yes that is actually my favorite thing flying to Europe. Coming across the British Isles in the early morning with hopefully not a complete clould cover and seeing the coast lines light up. It is magnificent in every respect. I have been trying to snap a few pictures, but have never had any real sucess in doing so. That view of the British coastline in the early morning is one of the most pleasurable aspects of the flight for me; crossing over the European mainland with the sun coming up is a wonderful thing too.




David:

Quoting PEK18R36L (Reply 6):
Frankly, all I want from my airline is an over-the-shoulder reading lamp and a power outlet in the seat. They can keep the rest.

Quite right!



"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3785 times:

Even on short flights, I like entertainment.

Sure, I don't prefer a movie on a short flight. But its the same reason I'd rather not crack a book... if its short, I don't want to get into a story and not finish it. A TV show (like on B6, Song, or F9) is perfect.

N


User currently offlineMolykote From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1343 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3777 times:
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Quoting Moparman (Reply 10):
Yes that is actually my favorite thing flying to Europe. Coming across the British Isles in the early morning with hopefully not a complete clould cover and seeing the coast lines light up. It is magnificent in every respect. I have been trying to snap a few pictures, but have never had any real sucess in doing so. That view of the British coastline in the early morning is one of the most pleasurable aspects of the flight for me; crossing over the European mainland with the sun coming up is a wonderful thing too.

This is one of my favorite things as well although I too have had bad luck with photos. On my flight to Rome I was treated to a magnificent sunrise over the Alps. What a way to have breakfast! This particular flight was so fantastic that I never went to sleep. I'm not much on trip reports but I might have to write one. Seat 1A and 1B with the girlfriend on a flight this spectacular may warrant it. I don't think I used more than 1-2 hr of my IFE on this flight.



Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
User currently offlineMotopolitico From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3764 times:

Quoting Moparman (Thread starter):
But seriously, what is all the hype here about IFE?

You might as well ask what is all the hype about B6? Whether shorthaul or long, IFE makes a big difference. Flying transatlantic in a US narrowbody without PTV sucked bigtime.



Garbage stinks; trash don't!
User currently offlineMoparman From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 411 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3757 times:

Quoting Molykote (Reply 12):
On my flight to Rome I was treated to a magnificent sunrise over the Alps

Have you ever flown into Zurich in the early morning? The approach into Zurich is breathtaking - especially if you arrive on a sunny morning. Spring and Summer is okay, but arrive in the Winter on a clear morning! That is amazing. I can highly recommend the Delta flight from ATL (I think the flight number is DL66) and it's usually a B763. Lucky for me, my wife loves the aisle seat!!   The last time we were on that flight we were headed to Nairobi to see her parents and for a second wedding reception. I have relatives that live not far from Basel, so Zurich is perfect for a visit.


IFE on these long flights is great, but much of the time I may only use 1-2 hours myself. When flying in economy, Continental is my favorite airline. Although there are complaints sometimes when I have the window shade open looking out. The view of the stars and the moon over the Atlantic is extremely addictive.


--- "Flying transatlantic in a US narrowbody without PTV sucked bigtime." ---

Good lord!!! I have crossed the Atlantic many a time in a narrow body aircraft as a child. In B707s and DC-8s.... Flying transatlantic without PTV isn't a terrible problem!  rotfl   rotfl  I would much rather cross the Atlantic in a B720 then an a NWA DC10-40 crammed into the center seat of the center row

[Edited 2006-01-16 06:37:21]


"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3674 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3754 times:

My most common flight is JFK-NRT (and back). This flight goes over Canada, then Alaska, then water the rest of the way. It's a 14 hour flight and it is overnight both ways (though the night is short going in one direction).

I always sit in the aisle seat because I'm 6'4" tall and I need at least a little room to stretch my legs. So I can't really see out the window regardless. But the cabin crew closes the shades for about 2/3 of the flight anyway, when it's supposed to be "night" time. So I couldn't really sit there and look out the window, and even if I could, I'd be looking at water about half the time, and empty plains most of the rest. I do sometimes go to the back of the plane and look out the exit door window by the bathroom, and more often than not all I can see is a veil of white haze.

So I'm happy to have a good IFE system and it is one thing I look for in an airline. I don't think they do it anymore but I remember when ANA used to have Super Nintendo games built into their IFE and that was a big selling point for me (now I can just bring a portable game system, obviously, but back then they were not so ubiquitous). Now, having multiple channels of movie and TV, along with exterior views, GPS tracking, etc. both helps pass the time and keeps me up to date on where we are.

I've got an iPod, I've got a Game Boy, I've got a laptop with a DVD player... so I don't *need* an IFE system. But I still use them. ANA, for example, plays daily news and other local shows from Japan that I can't get in NYC and that helps put me in the mood for when I actually get there.

Looking out the window is not always an option and it's not always the best entertainment either.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21590 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3739 times:

Quoting PEK18R36L (Reply 6):
Frankly, all I want from my airline is an over-the-shoulder reading lamp and a power outlet in the seat. They can keep the rest.

I wish more provided that outside of premium. And many don't even in premium.

If they gave that, I'd be able to play as many movies as I want on my PC, and work, and read, and then watch the overhead movie should it be worth it.

But I don't mind having a TV if they give it to me. Not sure I need AVOD though, even if it is convenient. If I miss a few minutes of a movie to use the loo, my life won't end.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAntskip From Australia, joined Jan 2006, 936 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3727 times:

Quoting Moparman (Thread starter):
none of the IFE is really good and in my humble opinion, looking out of the window is the best IFE you can get

Reminds me of those who reckon electricity is overated. The issue is that planes that provide good entertainment don't force you to use it. You can still look out the window (in a window seat) or read a book or meditate, just like you could 4O years ago. You are also free to be very bored, just like 40 years ago. The cloud-watchers can still watch, the readers still read, you are still free to think whatever you like, even of nothing. But for those who like to go to the movies or listen to music or just be entertained - because many things (like a walk around the lake) are out of the question; then the new systems are very welcome - without taking anything else away. How can you complain? If on the other hand you are saying that some entertainment systems are not significantly better than others, and therefore don't make a difference to those who like to be entertained on a long journey in a flying tube, then you are dead wrong. Wrong in the same way as a comment that all the books in the world are equally trivial and overrated, or that every airliner has trivial differences. Only those who do not wish to read would make the first comment, and non-flyers the second. To them reading and airliners are the same: irrelevant. To someone who would rather look at clouds, then all other forms of entertainment are irrelevant. To the cloud-watcher, it is all the same. But then they also remove their own right to argue the case of differences (what differences?) within the category of experience that they see as all of equal irrelvance. Me, I'll stick to cloud-watching plus be able to choose between the 600 or so channels of digitalized entertainment on ICE on my EK A340-500 - and if I really want to be entertained, book business class - because the size of the screen does matter to those who watch.  Smile

[Edited 2006-01-16 07:29:02]

User currently offlineZKNEA From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 151 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3623 times:

Looking out the window gets a bit boring after the first hour of an 18hr flight over the ocean... clouds or no clouds.

User currently offlineCrosscountry From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3607 times:

Having previously flown transatlantic on DL and AA from MAN. My last few trips on VS from LHR have shown just how much quicker good IFE can make a flight feel.
Sure, some of you want to read, or look out of the window (not much point on a red eye!) but personally I love being able to catch up on some of the movies I missed, watch some entertaining TV or listen to some tunes.
With on demand IFE now available on carriers like VS and SQ, its not just a case of one crappy movie you might have seen.
Try 40 flims, hundreds of TV shows, a massive selection of albums, destination guides, in flight tips and exercises as well as the trusty map.
I'm off to CPT next month and trust me I'll be making good use of the IFE on that 12 hour trip.
Most of it is at night so there won't be much to look at out of the window, although I am looking forward to seeing my first sunrise in teh southern hemisphere.
I suppose IFE is a matter of personal taste. I couldn't do without it though. Dreading hopping the pond on AA95 later this year...seven hours on a 757.
No PTV, no selection...ugh!


User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3570 times:

The point is none of the IFE is really good and in my humble opinion, looking out of the window is the best IFE you can get.

Not sure what rates as "really good" in your opinion, but I tell you that when you don't have a window seat the downward looking camera that Emirates feeds to an IFE channel makes Google Earth look like a, .... er ...., computer program, and is a sanity saver on long hauls.

PGF


User currently offlineCabso1 From Canada, joined May 2005, 502 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3560 times:

IFE is a major component of flying. I do enjoy looking out of the window, but not all the time. Times when I am cramped in the aisle, the IFE saved me cos face it, sleeping in the aisle, or anywhere for that matter, is really difficult on a plane.

User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1640 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3535 times:

For me, IFE is a non-issue--because I have no ears. Without ears, what good are headphones?

If I want to see bits and pieces of the movie (when looking up from my book, or just scanning the cabin with my single eye, or looking out the window), I make do with watching the image on the bulkhead screen (or on the seatback screen in newer planes) without any sound--I use my imagination to interpret the pictures.

If I could sleep on planes (I haven't succeeded yet on my frequent US-London trips), my bizarre, vivid dreams would be the BEST IFE yet!

SmithAir747



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2661 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3456 times:

I think the biggest problem facing humanity is boredom. That is the backbone of every pro-IFE post on this thread. Why on Earth are you so bored?

I can't remember the last time I was bored. I can sit the entire day immersed in thought and hardly be aware of my surroundings...almost like meditation. I am sitting now typing this post in total silence (as I always do), no TV, no radio, no nuthin'. Hearing myself think is not like a fingernail screeching a chalkboard.

These topics are worrisome to me, as they indicate a strong desire to get entertainment at what appears to be any cost. If the airlines offered a "plug" that you could insert into your brain that placed TV and movies on your closed eyelids I believe almost without a single doubt that the vast majority of the pro-IFE types would kill for it. A little scary, yes.

If you cannot entertain yourself then I suppose you might be boring, sorry to say.  bored 


User currently offlineAmericanB763ER From Luxembourg, joined Sep 2005, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3421 times:

Quoting PEK18R36L (Reply 6):
While some airline entertainment systems are definitely better than others

...like LX's for example - as seen on their A340s. Tons of options between movies/series/games - even interactive ones with other passengers etc., in MY opinion the best IFE I've experienced so far.

As for being on aircraft with the more "conventional" ( read: non-PTV ) IFE usually I've seen the movies that are displayed so I do turn to a book, a magazine, crosswords ( I can do them for hours and hours  Smile ), my laptop or looking out of the window (on short trips and provided I have a window seat ). Sleeping isn't an option at all since I can't sleep on aircraft.


25 Bond007 : That great, but it isn't the way most of us are made. Most people DO want IFE on a long flight...unfortunately that's reality...like it or not. Jimbo
26 Jsnww81 : Amen! That's my favorite part about transatlantic flights. The early morning, when the sun is just starting to come up, and the cabin is absolutely s
27 MD80fanatic : Uhmmm, yes it is the way ALL of us are made. We existed long before TV did and we were surprisingly quite happy and could effectively communicate with
28 Bond007 : Yes, to most people it is. Maybe not you, but you are obviously not the person they are marketing it towards. However much A.net people love to see t
29 Jetdeltamsy : You are definitely in the minority. IFE is a huge selling tool for airlines that offer it. And personally, it makes longer flights much more pleasant
30 Joshdean : The best thing is the map showing your position. Combine that with looking out of the window and you can't beat it.
31 Sabena332 : I am sure that you will change your mind after you flew on SQ326, it is a 13 hour flight during daylight and I guarantee you that you will get sick a
32 Post contains images Lightsaber : I like IFE for one reason: it keeps the annoying people on the plane quiet. Let's face it, I've only *once* been placed on a flight next to a lady I w
33 Fly2CHC : At the end of the day, when there is a lot of competition around people choose their airline based on the different things which are important to them
34 Moparman : NO NO.... I'm not saying get rid of all IFE... especially on long flights, IFE is excellent.
35 Crosscountry : Amen to that! At 5ft 6in seat pitch matters little to me, but AVOD ife on long haul makes all the difference. That is why unless I get an amzing fare
36 Gman94 : Well if I'm going to spend a lot of money on a long haul flight to sit in conditions that are illegal to transport livestock in but ok to put humans t
37 Bongo : 1. What about the people in the middle section? 2. Do you really find exciting to look through the window during the whole flight in, let´s say, DFW
38 Post contains images FlyKev : I used to care more about IFE than I do now, as I got myself a PMC. (Avod for your pocket ) Still, I think it is nice to have the option of IFE availa
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