These days, trying to figure out exactly which airlines offer exactly what in-flight entertainment options is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. Few airlines offer consistent entertainment options and options can even vary by plane model.
As a general rule, the legacy carriers offer the widest variety of services. However, the older plane models those major carriers may not have been updated with personal televisions or Wi-Fi (though online options are growing). Budget carriers and newer airlines can also be hit or miss. For example, AirTran offers no seatback TVs, but give customers the option to purchase Wi-Fi.
Luckily, there are some airlines that are renowned for their in-flight entertainment options. Virgin America has personal TVs with a one-of-a-kind user interface called Red that offers movies, music, video games, interactive Google maps, seat-to-seat messaging, and even on-demand menus. Most of the entertainment is free, with the occasional charge to view a new release, or to connect to the on-board Wi-Fi. Another favorite is JetBlue, which offers personal TV’s with free and paid entertainment options, in addition to the reported fastest Wi-Fi in the sky.
If you aren’t flying a carrier that offers consistent service, you could call the carrier and ask what specific entertainment options will be available. Or look up the type of aircraft and consult this handy cheat sheet for all your domestic airlines’ entertainment and Wi-Fi options.
By Ashleigh Whelan for PeterGreenberg.com