What This Airline Just Did To Its Inflight Entertainment Made Passengers Sit Up In Wonder

This was entertainment of an entirely different scale.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 10 Sep 2017
No, it was nothing like this.


PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


The main purpose of airlines is to numb us.

Yes, like the dentist during oral surgery.

They want us to sit back in our chairs and relax, stare into space and enjoy movie after movie until our route canal is over and we can step off the plane.

We're so numbed that we even forget how much we paid in baggage fees.

One airline decided to rise above the usual screen-focused form of inflight entertainment.

Instead, Icelandair presented live immersive theater.

As the Telegraph reports, it recruited not only professional actors, but enthusiastic cabin crew members to present something exalted. Or, at least, out of the ordinary.

The crew members actually went to stage school to prepare, even though they only played minor roles.

I can imagine you might think that this sort of entertainment is the last thing you'd ever want on a flight.

Do you really want to be interrupted by an actor even before you've got on the plane and be offered her butler to carry your bags?

Actually, I'm not sure I'd mind.

The Telegraph's correspondent, Gavin Haines, seemed mesmerized by the whole thing.

Who were the real passengers and who were the fakes, there to entertain with their sheer personalities?

What stories would they tell? And how would they tell them?

"And then we were above the clouds where it was smooth sailing," wrote Haines. "The hippies, Ritchie and Cynthia, produced a guitar and started a rendition of Love Me Do. We sang along. It was a party at 30,000 feet, with a Sixties theme, when the airline's slogan was slower and lower."

Yes, this was all live marketing. The various characters offered tales vaguely pertaining to Icelandair through the ages.

Of course, you wouldn't want this on every flight. Neither, I suspect, would Icelandair.

But can you imagine United Airlines doing it just once?

I know you can already imagine one part of the United theater, in which a passenger drags a bloody-faced member of the airport police down the aisle and explains to him that he should have taken the offer of $50 and packet of potato chips to get off the plane.

The possibilities are quite tantalizing, aren't they?

Reliving the golden age of air travel with #Icelandair, which is piloting a new in-flight entertainment concept: immersive theatre at 30,000 feet.

A post shared by Gavin Haines (@gavin_haines) on Sep 8, 2017 at 6:29pm PDT