become accustomed to airline frugality, especially when it comes to domestic
travel. Passengers often have to pay for checked bags, while complimentary food
and drink have all but disappeared. Airlines are still competing for
passengers, however, and some are finding creative ways to lure people onboard –
or at least keep them entertained while in the air.
Atlantic has just
announced that it is booking comedians bound for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world’s largest art festival, to perform for passengers shuttling between Heathrow and Manchester or Edinburgh
this month. UK musicians will then replace comedians as the in-flight acts during
September. Shows will take place in the front of the aircraft, but performers
also will cruise the aisles and interact with passengers.
Atlantic has toyed around with live in-flight entertainment in the past, with
February’s Gallery in the Air featuring the work of British
artist Ben Eine. The colourful,
typographic works from the street artist were on display on the walls of the Upper
Class cabin on flights between London and New York, as well as available for
purchase, priced between £2,500 and £15,000.
catering to its top-tier customers, in May Qantas announced its plan to debut a
collection of tailored books for its most frequent and valued flyers. Publishing
house Hachette is behind the Stories
for Every Journey series, where books have been crafted to last the
duration of a flight based on average reading time – which is about a page a
minute, with meals and bathroom breaks also factored in. The bespoke novels
penned by Australian authors range from nonfiction stories to thrillers.
Air Canada has
offered niche diversion since 2007 with its annual enRoute Film Festival. Taking in a selection of 16 short
films, spanning genres and including some animated entries, passengers can watch
homegrown talent and then vote for their favourite of the lot.