Jaunted, the "pop culture travel guide", has posted a 2009 airline in-flight entertainment (IFE) chart (about US carriers) and written a nice accompanying piece that spells out who is doing what in more detail.
There are no big surprises here - although I don't know why United Airlines is listed as offering Wi-Fi from 2010 in the chart (for the record, the carrier has said it will trial Aircell's Gogo product on its transcon 757s this spring, errr, so it has a few more weeks to meet that goal).
I find Jaunted's breakdown of US Airways' offering - or, rather, non-offering - to be most telling. Key par:
Internet: You're kidding, right?
TV: Mainscreen movies on transatlantic and Hawaii flights.
Music: Plug into 10 channels--woo, passengers get some entertainment at least!
Games: Pack a word search book.
Bottom Line: If you enjoyed flying in the 1980s you will enjoy US Air's skimpy IFE, otherwise, BYOIFE. Oh, there is one new twist, tray table advertising! Yeah.
Not that I want to give US Air any type of pass here - because, by and large, its in-flight service is of the low-grade variety - but the carrier did offer in-seat AVOD on the A330 I flew from Philly to Paris and back last week.
Yes, it was a legacy Rockwell Collins system, but it was entertainment and damn if it doesn't make all the difference.
Also, the food wasn't half bad. In fact, it was rather good (shock!)
I visited LSG Sky Chefs in Hamburg about 11 years ago (holy God, where does the time go?) and that company still knows how to make a decent meal, even for us US Air economy-class passengers. Here's what I got:
It was also nice to have something to cover up that tray table advertising.