Lonely Planet Writer

Kiosk at Heathrow Airport will allow passengers to download movies to watch on their phones in-flight

One of the best ways to pass time mid-air is with a little in-flight entertainment, but booking a budget airline can mean no screen, or some airlines’ film selection may not be quite up to par. But starting this summer, there’s a solution for passengers departing from Heathrow Terminal 5 in London – they can download recent Hollywood releases onto their iPhone or iPads to watch during their flight.

An EntertainMe kiosk will be installed in Heathrow.
An EntertainMe kiosk will be installed in Heathrow. Image by SITA/Heathrow

Passengers will be able to use the Heathrow EntertainMe kiosks to download movies, magazines and newspapers in around a minute so they can enjoy them at the airport and in-flight. The kiosks offer a mixture of free and paid content that includes local and international newspapers and magazines, recent movie blockbuster releases and classic titles, as well as content designed for avid travellers like city guides, destination video tours and more.

Users just pick what they want on the screen and can pay with ApplePay or a contactless credit or debit card. They can then download their content, and use it during their trip without having needing Wi-Fi or data services.

Heathrow notes that 90% of passengers are carrying a mobile phone or tablet and “the 2016 Passenger IT Trends Survey reports that 46% of them are using their devices to access entertainment”. The first phase of the trial will be limited to Terminal 5, which serves more than 30 million passengers per year.

Other airports have implemented similar features to help passengers who prefer using their phone or tablets for in-flight entertainment. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad previously partnered with entertainment app Fropcorn to allow users at the airport terminal to download movies, TV shows and more via Wi-Fi to watch at the terminal or in-flight.