The old proverb that said it is the journey not the destination was not really supposed to apply to airflights and vacations. The destination was the point of any trip, and the aircraft was just a means to an end. Yet any decent airline would make at least some effort to make the journey as pleasant as possible. Inflight entertainment has been a legitimate thing for many years.
In the 1980s overseas travellers usually got a film or two during their flight. Everybody there saw the same film projected on the (rather small) screen near the front of the plane. It was just bad luck if the film was poor – the only other option was one of the music channels on a loop system that repeated every hour. You listened to either of these on mono air-phones.
More than a few experienced travellers in the 1980 invested in a Walkman or Discman, which were still relatively new technology. At least you could bring your own selection. You also had to bring a lot of batteries.
The late 1990s many planes had personal televisions for each seat, so each passenger could have a wide selection of entertainment options. This seemed to be the way of the future – what could be better than a personal film selection for each individual.
Strangely this is on the way out. Prior to Wi-Fi technology the idea of a personal film selection for each person, along with a few game options, was the best option conceivable. But now we are used to living half our life on our smartphones, tables and other portable devices. So airlines have gone the cheaper yet more versatile route and provided in flight Wi-Fi.
If you’re travelling overseas you will probably take a Wi-Fi capable device anyway. We tend to use these today instead of taking cameras, notebooks, laptops and countless other portable devices. As long as these are fully charged (the plans should have USB ports) we should have all the options of the World Wide Web available to us. What else could we ask for?