In-flight entertainment is better than its ever been.
But cabin crew at Icelandair are poised to take it a step further, this year – when they put on a live theatre show for passengers at 39,000 feet.
Bosses at the European airline are set to trial the unique in-flight entertainment to mark its 80th anniversary in September on the back of a survey that revealed that over half of passengers got bored during their journey.
A hat-trick of performances will detail the airline’s history during a flight from London to New York via Iceland.
The first installment happens in transit from London to Keflavík on 8 September, followed by the second act at Keflavík airport’s Saga Lounge during the stop-over.
The third and final part takes place on the journey’s final leg from Keflavík to New York on 10 September.
And, to ensure it’s a first-class production, the company partnered with an immersive theatre group to formally coach the staff.
Flight attendants were sent to stage school to learn various elements of thespian arts such as singing, dancing and comedy.
The airline launched the initiative following a global survey of 9,000 air passengers in the UK, US, Canada, Scandinavia, France and Germany, which found 52 per cent end up ‘bored’ during a flight.
Now that’s good service! Crew member KatrÌn Eyjulfsduttir, 24, practices her ballet moves
First class performance? Flight attendants were sent to stage school to learn various elements of thespian arts such as singing, dancing and comedy
It also emerged 78 per cent admitting cabin crew can ‘make or break a flight’.
Four in ten even said a cabin crew member has gone out of their way to entertain them on a flight, by doing things such as telling jokes, amusing children and even teaching them some of the local language of their destination and they crave more of this.
And, additionally, a third would be more likely to choose an airline that offered free live entertainment as part of their in-flight programme.
Friendly skies: Attendants will be aiming to stem boredom with humour on their stopover flight
Learning his lines: A pilot commits his part to memory to ensure there’s no winging it
Birkir Hólm Guðnason, CEO at Icelandair, said: ‘The world is changing the way we fly, and as such there is a requirement for airlines to up their game to meet the demands of this new breed of flier.
‘The shift in passenger expectation means they now demand both better customer service and more unique entertainment.
‘We know our talented staff are the stars of the company and at the heart of the passenger journey, so we ran a stage school to nurture their skills and improve customer service. ‘