TWO years ago, this blog lamented the demise of in-flight entertainment on aeroplanes:

In a low-margin industry cost-cutting is helpful, but demanding consumers expect savings to be passed on. Equally airlines are keen to develop new sources of revenue. Giving up a small box which can command the attention of travellers for up to 12 hours at a time could be considered a surrender of one of the few areas in which airlines enjoy a monopoly. There are other pitfalls. Entertainment, like free drink, helps pacify hundreds of people sitting in small spaces for long periods of time. Planes without entertainment might mean more disruptive passengers.

It seems the airlines may have been listening. Coming off a year of record profits, American carriers are deciding that in-flight entertainment is an investment worth making to keep passengers happy. Two months ago, Delta announced that it was instituting free on-board entertainment on all but the smallest of its planes. This week, American Airlines joined the movement with an announcement...Continue reading