One of the only comforts when you have a long flight ahead of you is knowing you have countless hours to kick back (well, as far back as your seat allows) and enjoy a variety of in-flight entertainment. Whether you want to finally watch the critically-acclaimed films you missed out on seeing in the cinema, indulge in an old favourite, or sneak in some guilty pleasure viewing, there is something for everyone. But Qantas' top film for 2017 might come as a surprise.
Computer animated-comedy The Boss Baby was the most watched movie throughout all of the airline's flights last year. The top choice for parents looking to entertain their little ones, it would seem. But the rest of the top 10 are filled with flicks suitable for a more mature audience, including popular views such as Hidden Figures, La La Land and Logan. Family favourites like Beauty and the Beast and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also made the cut, while Garth Davis' award winning Lion was the most popular Australian film viewed throughout the year.
In the age of Netflix, it should come as no surprise that Qantas' selection of television shows proved just as popular with passengers. Small screen favourites included binge-favourites like Game of Thrones, which was the most watched drama series. But the most-watched show overall was Modern Family, with flyers watching 151,334 hours of the sitcom. That's an average of 415 hours of Modern Family each day of the year.
It seems no one can resist the soothing tones of David Attenborough, as his Planet Earth II was the most popular documentary throughout the airline, followed by the New Zealand documentary on obesity titled Why Are We Fat?
Movie premieres continue to capture the biggest audience, while comedy is the most watched television genre overall.
According to Qantas, an "anonymous on board ratings system" is used to find out what people are watching and for how long. Monitoring viewing trends gives the airline insight into what customers like to watch and, at the end of the month, engineers upload new content to the in-flight media centre according to recorded data.
TV shows and movies combined, there was a total of 22 million hours of in-flight entertainment viewed in 2017 alone.
However, seatback screens are falling out of favour as more and more passengers turn to their own devices for entertainment. Airlines are instead opting to provide streaming services that allow passengers to watch the inflight entertainment on their smartphone or tablet. Qantas and Virgin Australia are already doing this on some planes, while several US airlines are now phasing out seatback screens on short-haul flights.
The big advantage for airlines is reducing the weight of aircraft and the systems can cost more than $10,000 per seat to install.
The top movies on Qantas flights last year:
1. The Boss Baby
3. Hidden Figures
4. Beauty and the Beast
5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
7. La La Land
9. Kong: Skull Island
10. Baby Driver