When travelling on a plane, especially during a long trip, seatback TV screens and high-quality entertainment will help you get through the boring flight. So, knowing what airlines have seatback tv screens is essential when making your decisions.
The following article lists some top airlines with and without seatback TV screens in their fleets. This will make deciding which airlines to book for your next trip easier.
Airlines with seatback TV screens
First, we’ll be considering airlines with seatback TV screens. The added monitor has always been an excellent feature for many flyers, especially during long-haul flights. So, it’s no surprise that many airlines still invest in this feature. Among them are:
- Air France
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Delta Airlines
- Emirates Airlines
- EVA Air
- Japan Airlines
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Swiss International Air Lines
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic.
You can enjoy hours of entertainment in the air with Air France. Photo by astrosystem - stock.adobe.com
With Air France, passengers will receive their digital entertainment systems, no matter their choice of cabins. The IFE comes with touch screens of different sizes, ranging from 10.4 to 16 inches.
British Airways offers a huge selection of movies and shows for most extended flights for their seatback entertainment. And travellers will always receive the latest updates, so they won’t miss out on any shows. Apparently, the carrier also have doubled the content since the start of 2023.
The screens often range between 10 to 12 inches, depending on the aircraft, which are more than adequate for your movies, TV shows, and games on the go.
Not all Cathay Pacific’s planes have inbuilt seat-back displays. But most of its long-haul flights will offer this feature, especially if you’re travelling on Airbus A350-900, A350-1000, or Boeing B777-300ER. Moreover, Skytrax recognised their in-flight Entertainment as the best in the world by 2023.
Most of Delta’s long-haul international flights feature seatback TV screens, with on-demand entertainment for all its customers, aside from the Boeing 717 fleet. You can find the extensive list here (scroll down to the “Entertainment at Your Fingertips” section at the end).
And while the display quality remains solid, screen sizes on different fleets vary greatly. If you want premium experiences, the Delta One suites will offer an 18-inch display and multiple on-the-go entertainments.
Instead of the regular 12.1-inch monitor often featured on regular airlines, Emirates Airlines offers the larger 13.3-inch touchscreen display on all its economy seats. From A380 to A770, you’ll never get bored in the air.
And for business class, your seat will have an upgraded screen at 23 inches, so you can enjoy watching visual content most comfortably. This puts Emirates Airlines on the top of the list for having one of the largest displays.
Except for AirBus A321, all EVA Air coach seats have a TV screen. Of course, the quality of the displays will vary according. Economy Class passengers will have a high-resolution touch screen at a minimum of 9 inches, while Business Class travellers can enjoy displays at up to 18 inches.
With seatback TV screens available on all their long-haul flights, Japan Airlines will ensure you’re always entertained during your trips. All of their JAL Sky Wider seats in the coach class come with a 10.6-inch touch panel monitor.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
While travelling with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, you can tune in with your seatmates and enjoy inflight entertainment with popular movies and TV shows while flying.
The large selection of seats with screens from 9 inches to 19 inches offers multiple choices for passengers when travelling with the airline. All their widebody jets, such as Airbus A330-200 or Boeing 777-200ER, will include personal tv screens. Narrowbody jets such as Boeing 737-900 don’t.
If you’re travelling on the A330s and Boeing 777 with Qatar Airways Long Haul, the seatback TV screens are available. At the same time, the inbuilt Oryx One entertainment system will offer extensive content, including movies, TV shows, music, and games. Also, feel free to enjoy the system with the noise-cancelling headphones featured in all Qatar Airways inflight entertainment systems.
While travelling with Singapore Airlines, you can enjoy the touch-supported displays on all your fights. These include all your seat options for different classes.
Being famous for its unique in-flight entertainment system, KrisWorld, Singapore Airlines offers high-quality seatback relaxation, including movies, TV shows, games, etc.
Plus, all customers can now access Live TV services, allowing them to watch live channels on the fly. And the comfortable seats will ensure your relaxing experience.
Swiss International Airlines
It’s important to note that not all of their planes have seatback TV screens. Most of the time, the option won't be available if you’re on a short flight. On the other hand, long-haul flights will often feature this perk.
Note that Turkish’s Boeing 737-700 has no TVs. Meanwhile, the Airbus A319, Airbus A320, and Airbus A321 only come with overhead TVs.
Their Live TV and International Roaming service enable passengers travelling on international flights using A350, A330, B787, and B777 aircraft to watch live TV.
The screens on Virgin Atlantic are rather diverse in both sizes and display quality. This is probably because of the many old plane models still being used by the airlines. Here, you can enjoy the standard entertainment system with up to a 13.3-inch display.
Do you want to have a greater experience with a bigger screen? Upgrade to their upper class, and you are treated to an 18.5-inch touchscreen. Along with movies and TV shows, Virgin Atlantic also offers video games you can play with the touch-sensitive controller.
Airlines Without Seat Back TV Screens
And while having seatback TV screens can be a great feature, some airlines have decided to move away from them. Here are some airlines without personal monitors:
As a solution to reduce aeroplanes' weight, American Airlines has been removing seat back screens from many of their aircraft. It’ll also make way for a newly refurbished aisle, allowing for more seats to be featured on the plane.
Travellers are still allowed to enjoy all the inflight entertainment, but they'll have to connect to their own devices instead of using the seatback displays.
Another major American airline, Southwest Airlines, also refuses to feature seatback TV screens on their flights, which they deem unnecessary. Instead, they offer free entertainment with movies, TV shows, and other services you can enjoy on your smart devices.
The affordable Ireland airline will certainly want to cut their costs by not featuring monitors for passengers. And this is even more reasonable since they mostly offer short flights instead of long-haul trips. However, you can still enjoy inflight entertainment by downloading the Ryanair app, so you can stream content on the fly.
Like their budget-friendly counterparts, the airline also chooses not to opt-in for premium entertainment. Instead, it offers Internet packages for onboard passengers to enjoy streaming their own content online.
Instead of offering backseat displays and premium entertainment services, Allegiant Air provides its passengers with a free mobile app. You can choose to bring your own streaming devices and download the application to enjoy personal inflight entertainment.
Another budget airline, another screen-less aisle. And on top of that, Frontier Airlines also doesn't have any form of flight entertainment. Instead, customers are encouraged to bring their own devices for leisure activities.
Like Southwest and Ryanair, you won’t have your IFE in the backseat before you. And while there are some overhead screens that show movies, cartoons, and TV channels, you won't find them really special. Most of the time, you'll enjoy personal entertainment on your phone instead.
Instead of all the smart applications and inflight entertainment systems, EasyJet leaves the leisure part to their customers. Here, you can use smart devices throughout the entire experience, from take-off to landing. Feel free to enjoy your movies or play games on the go.
How To Check If My Flight Have TVs In Seat
Before you start packing your headphones and loading up your favourite series on your tablet, head over to the airline's website. Most airlines provide detailed information about the amenities available on their flights, including whether or not they have seatback TVs. Look for sections like "Our Fleet," "Aircraft Types," "In-Flight Services," "Amenities," or something similar.
If the airline's website leaves you with more questions than answers, don't hesitate to reach out to their customer support, they are just a phone call (or a chatbot) away.
Another option is seat map websites, such as Skytrax or SeatGuru. Just enter your flight details and explore the seat map to see if your seats come with personal TV/On-Demand TV or not.
Check the airline's social media accounts or search for relevant hashtags to see if other passengers have shared their in-flight entertainment experiences. You might stumble upon some helpful insights or even strike up a conversation with fellow travellers.
Things To Consider When Choosing Inflight Entertainment
Once you’ve decided that you want a seatback display on your cabin, you’ll need to consider the options. With different inflight entertainment systems, there will be varied choices. So, it’s important to understand what you’ll be getting and whether they will be worth your upgrades.
While you may have all the different pieces of entertainment, it would be pointless if you couldn't enjoy them. So, always consider your travel destination, flight duration, and what you'll be doing during the entire flight.
In our opinion, you only need one or two means of leisure to get you through the trip, and others are just for show. During a long trip, you’ll probably spend half of your time sleeping while immersing yourself in good entertainment for the other half. On the other hand, with short trips, a good IFE system isn’t required at all.
And when browsing the different selections of movies, TV shows, live channels, books, and video games, make sure they have your preferred language options. Otherwise, you'll have trouble understanding the content, and most of the advanced IFE will be wasted.
If you're travelling with kids, always check if the airlines offer appropriate content for children of all ages. A good children's show can provide great entertainment for your kids. But you don’t want them to watch movies that aren’t for them.
After considering all the options, make sure to review your budget so that you can filter your list. For our readers, we always recommend not spending too much on IFE but instead on the actual flight services, especially if you're travelling on a budget.
Make Sure To Check Your Seats
If you’re wondering what airlines have seatback TV screens, our above article will give you the complete answer. Check the list to decide if you’re travelling with the right airlines. Also, you need to consider the inflight entertainment options before booking the flights to have the best on-the-air experiences.
Nguyen Kim Vuong