Hurtigruten takeover
Hurtigruten takeover

Does The New Post-Covid Era Mark The End Of In-Flight Magazines?

It's no secret that how we fly is changing. From face masks to food, health passports to contactless check-in, and now the potential last page for in-flight magazines.

It’s no secret that how we fly is changing. From face masks to food, health passports to contactless check-in, and now the potential last page for in-flight magazines.

How often do you fish around in the seatback pocket for a source of entertainment before, during or after take off?

Do you longingly flip the pages, reading about the top restaurants to eat at in Athens, or the most exciting festivals to experience in South East Asia? Or do you fold over the pages marking the things you like to treat yourself when duty-free is open?

Well, in-flight magazines could be transitioning to online and apps; helping to reduce newspaper and magazine waste, both on the ground and in-flight, by over 1,000 tonnes each year and combatting the spread of COVID-19.

Going digital

Qatar Airways entertainment
Qatar Airways’ Oryx One

Just like many things in post-COVID life, the future of in-flight magazine appears to be going digital, with airlines opting to ditch the print and instead serve up an array of news and feature content via the screen.

Qatar Airways recently partnered with PressReader to offer passengers unlimited access to more than 7,000 global digital magazine and newspaper titles “in one seamless digital experience” through its Oryx One in-flight entertainment app from March 2021.

Passengers can now access titles by downloading the Oryx One app to their personal electronic devices, inserting their Booking Reference Number (PNR) into the app’s ‘Newsstand’ and selecting the exclusively curated titles they wish to save.

The service will be available up to three days before, and seven days after scheduled flights and the downloaded content will stay in a user’s digital library for as long as they have the app installed.

Qatar Airways said that the new partnership “not only offers a COVID-safe, contactless entertainment option to further enhance our passenger’s onboard experience, it also supports our commitment to environmental sustainability, which continues to be a key focus for the airline.”

British_Airways_KarryOn
BA’s inflight magazine in 1989

Will you miss picking up the coffee-stained magazine from the back of your seat and flicking through the slightly tattered, yet strangely nostalgic, pages of a real-life, off-screen magazine?

Or are you happy to dodge the fingerprints of hundreds of passengers that came before you, and download another app to add to your digital collection of personal on-screen entertainment?

Let us know, email [email protected]