Emirates expands in-flight entertainment to more than eight months worth of content while other airlines cut back.

WHAT HAPPENED: While other airlines restrict expenditures on in-flight media, Emirates is investing and licensing as much as it can—just the latest move to become the go-to luxury travel brand.

Why it matters

  • As more airlines try to save by adding more seats, selling as many tickets as possible, and encouraging travelers to bring their own devices to watch TV and movies during flights, Emirates continues to move in the opposite direction. Most recently, it debuted a new version of its information, communications and entertainment system, which includes 3,500 channels, 1,000 international movies, hundreds of TV channels, video games, podcasts and endless music options. It also worked with Bowers & Wilkins, a high-end audio equipment brand, to create noise-cancelling headphones. Before their flight, travelers can use the Emirates app to create a media wishlist that will sync with their individual screen upon boarding the plane.
  • Emirates receives 500,000 first- and business-class travelers each month, and this media buildout is meant to cater to their needs; According to one customer experience employee, the goal is for guests to say, “I wish the flight were longer.” Providing passengers with practically infinite in-flight entertainment opportunities not only strengthens the company’s luxury feel—a brand it is building by accounting for every part of the pre-, post-, and in-flight experience—but it also matches the growing expectation among consumers for on-demand media, even if they’re cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet above ground.