In-flight entertainment

I often look forward to travelling by plane or train, partly because it allows me to spend many hours justifiably doing nothing more than reading or watching movies. However three things prevent me from fully enjoying these hours in limbo:

1) The lack of physical comfort, which especially becomes an issue on long-haul flights (for example, Paris to Tokyo, 12 hours)

2) The small screens with their low-res image and bad sound, which often makes it difficult to hear the dialogue clearly over the engine roar.

3) Having to keep at least one eye on one or both of my toddler daughters, which can prevent me from really getting into a film unless they’re asleep, which they usually aren’t because they’re too excited about running up and down the aisle or kicking the chair in front of them.

So on the way out I only managed to watch parts of I Am Legend without headphones, which was ok because I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss any scintillating dialogue and besides, I’d read the book already. On the way back I managed all of Dan In Real Life, which I’d recommend, and Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis, which was moderately enjoyable.

As for the two and a half weeks holiday that took place between these two flights? I’ll post some tidbits and observations here, but the main, blow-by-blow account will go up at the family blog. It’s such a mammoth task to write it all up (and sort through the 5GB worth of photos) that I can’t face doing an alternate version to put here.  By the way, I tend not to link directly to the family blog, as it’s intended to be for friends and family only. I don’t want to go to the extent of password-protecting it, but I don’t publicise it either. If you’re likely to be interested in reading about our daughters’ comings and goings and doings, you probably already know where to find it. If not, mail me and maybe I can send you the URL.

UPDATE: Just saw these, which serve as another reminder of the many joys of air travel.


5 thoughts on “In-flight entertainment

  1. rasman1978 May 14, 2008 / 1:35 pm

    I have some really cheap (still probably 50€) noise cancelling headphones. They don’t work great, but they make a huge difference when it comes to in-flight cinema. I’d like to buy some good ones some time, as these press on my ears a little too much.

    Glad you’re back safe, and I look forward to stories and photos of your travels.


  2. sgazzetti May 14, 2008 / 2:14 pm

    The usual fly in my in-flight entertainment ointment is the selection — usually the films they offer are all titles I wouldn’t watch on a bet. I tend to buy some self-indulgent magazine and enjoy being able to read up to an entire paragraph without interruption.


  3. simonlitton May 14, 2008 / 2:29 pm

    This Air France flight wasn’t bad. About a dozen new releases, plus a few dozen other titles arranged into thematic “channels”. Plus, it’s a Video On Demand system, so you don’t have to jump into the movie part way through.


  4. Bri May 15, 2008 / 12:07 am

    Yay, you’re back! Hope you had a great time, looking forward to hearing about it.


  5. Peter May 16, 2008 / 11:30 pm

    I’m browsing with admiration (nothing like the “Lost in Tokyo” TV reality format in a mile) – it dawned on me you were back when I read your comment over at my blog.

    5 GB worth of photos – a daunting but undoubtedly pleasurable task.


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