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Wendy is an IFE Agent responsible for aggregating airline news specifically related to Inflight entertainment. She compiles stories relevant to business travelers, airline industry folks, marketers and tech geeks. IFE News doesn't create original content, but rather posts compelling editorial from global media outlets.

Making Flights Enjoyable for Young Flyers

By SADE WILLIAMS, Business Day

Children hate being restricted anywhere, whether on land or in flight. Once they’re strapped in, they can’t pick up toys they’ve dropped or move about and look around as much as they want to. A child on a long-haul flight is a time bomb of energy, according to experts.

Many larger airlines have in-flight entertainment such as films, music and even children’s channels There is never an ideal time to fly long haul, but if you fly through the night with your child, there is more of a chance that he will sleep through, at least some of the journey.

But now that school is out and summer holiday is underway in some parts of the world and while some have already started summer, many parents would like to take their children or wards on holidays, either long or short distance.

In fact, some children do not want to stay at home or around their parents when they are on holiday and so there is the pressure on parents from children to want to take them to visit friends and families.

And for those who are frequent air travellers, some airlines have redeveloped and rejuvenated their in-flight entertainment for children restricted to their screens while on board, especially on a long haul flight.

For ‘fun and games,’ younger travellers can take on numerous playful challenges with interactive entertainment system available in an aircraft – from Sudoku to golf or games for multiple players.

Things get even more realistic on the A330-300, where passengers can try their hand on 3D games (pool, car rallies, tennis).

Younger passengers can create their own menu, choosing from children films, music and games.

Some airlines ensure that only latest films are available on board and try to coordinate release times with cinemas, they ensure that customers enjoy premium entertainment and then guarantee variety, thanks to new films and music monthly to satisfy the needs of frequent flyers. Some provide on-demand entertainment in the case of Airbuses A330-300 and A340, just like at home, all children need to do is to forward or rewind or pause.

Some international airlines have one as far as introducing dedicated Kids Zones that will ensure that you and your family are entertained all the way to your destination.

Parents can surprise and reward children for their patience on long journeys. Wrap up a new toy and present them with it once you’re on the plane, depending on your child’s age.

As for Emirates Airlines, starting this month, its in-flight entertainment system, ice (information, communications and entertainment), will be specially-loaded with top-quality entertainment for younger fliers.

Recent winner of the 2011 Skytrax ‘World’s Best Airline In-flight Entertainment,’ ‘ice Digital Widescreen’ has the complete set of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies; including the latest adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, exclusively available on Emirates this August before any other airline in the world.

Regardless of the traveller’s age, ice Digital Widescreen has programming to meet every need. With over 35 dedicated children’s TV channels, what pre-schooler can resist a complete channel dedicated to the world phenomena, The Wiggles? Or the much-loved international hits In the Night Garden, Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends, Roary the Racing Car or the hugely successful first series of Rastamouse, from the BBC’s CBeebies Channel?

Emirates makes every flight enjoyable and offers an entire Cartoon Network channel where children can see Ben 10 and the rest of their favourites; plus, Top Gear’s Richard Hammond joins us for his very own children’s show Richard Hammonds Blast Lab, those meddling children are solving mysteries in What’s New Scooby Doo, and Wolverine and his X-Men carry on their fight with Magneto.

Ice Digital Widescreen also goes retro and introduces new generation to classic Tom and Jerry and Loony Tunes.

For older children, ice Digital Widescreen features hit series Gossip Girl and Glee and also has the most expansive music collection in the sky.

Straight from the top of the charts, Emirates offers a selection of new albums from Britney Spears, Nicole Scherzinger, Moby, Gorillaz, Foo Fighters, REM, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Jessie J, to name a few. There is also a world of international artistes to discover, radio and podcast channels, and over 60 music videos, featuring some of today’s hottest artistes.

In addition to premier television and music options, ice Digital Widescreen also boasts an impressive collection of over 30 Disney feature films – everything from classics such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins, Bambi, Dumbo, and Beauty and the Beast, to the recent Disney/Pixar blockbusters Monsters Inc., WALL-E, Finding Nemo, Up, and Cars. Furthermore, Emirates offers the complete box sets of Toy Story 1, 2 and 3 as well as the Chronicles of Narnia.

Hollywood’s latest animated and live-action family hits are also on board; including Kung Fu Panda 2, Rio, Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil, Rango, Mars Needs Moms, Gulliver’s Travels, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and much more. For every child, and those young at heart, Emirates ensures a variety of choices to create thoroughly entertaining flights for passengers of all ages.

Emirates has maintained its industry-leading position by continuously investing in and expanding its entertainment offering, resulting in an incredible range of movies, television and music from around the world.

Ice Digital Widescreen offers a staggering choice of over 1200 channels of entertainment, including over 280 movies from around the world, hundreds of TV choices and thousands of music tracks from contemporary to classical. Ice Digital Widescreen is also featured on all Emirates A380s and select Boeing 777s.

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