This Airline Just Changed The Definition of Onboard Entertainment

by SharonKurheg

What do you do to keep yourself busy on long flights? Most people would probably say they read, sleep, watch movies, work, eat, etc. But after a UK-based study reported the majority of air travelers said they were bored during their flights, Icelandair took the topic of in-flight entertainment into their own hands and produced an 11-hour immersive theater experience for a plane full of people who were on a flight from London to New York, with a stopover in Reykjavik. Here’s what happened…

The three-act play was called “Ahead in Time” and was performed by some of the crew, as well as other Icelandair employees, who all studied for a short time with Gideon Reeling, a small London-based immersive theater group during their time off. As per NBC News:

Passengers met and had an opportunity to interact with Maria, dressed in a stylish suit from the 1950s, who said she’d be flying the plane; Richie and Cynthia, hippies from the 1960s who met on the road and were hoping to get to Woodstock; Alex, an exuberant, if disorganized, backpacker from the 1990s in search of his passport; and numerous grandchildren and other far-flung relatives of Edda Johnson, a world traveler and former Icelandair flight attendant who had invited everyone to her birthday party but (spoiler alert) was too busy traveling the world to show up.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 10.14.27 PMThe experience started before take-off and continued at the gate, during flight and at the stopover. Included in the 11 hours of entertainment were sing-a-longs and some Icelandic-themed meals.

“Our program aims to transform wasted time while traveling into time well-traveled,” Icelandair CEO Birkir Hólm Guðnason said. “We’re pleased to pioneer a new form of entertainment and value-added service for passengers.”

Although the experience was advertised a few times on Incelandair’s Twitter account back in June and again the day before the event, it’s not clear if all passengers were aware of the theater they were about to encounter (whether they wanted to or not). However Gavin Haines, a reporter from UK-based The Telegraph was, and he attended and reported on the event. Click here if you’d like his take on it.

Special thanks to Meghan M. for the heads up about this topic!

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