A relic from an earlier time, in-flight magazines are reminiscent of a simpler era, before entertainment monitors and iPads. When you’re stuck in the middle seat, and condemned to hours of boredom, the humble in-flight magazine is your salvation. Despite being infamous for an inordinate number of adverts and cheesy articles, there are a few gems out there. So, read on for the magazines to watch out for the next time you purchase a flight ticket!

En Route, Air Canada

En Route, Air Canada

Widely acknowledged for setting the bar among airline magazines, En Route is the beautifully designed, well written in-flight magazine of Air Canada. En Route departs from the norm of a general interest magazine and focuses solely on travel, covering everything from where to go, how to get there, and what to eat and drink on arrival. Directed at anyone consumed with wanderlust – from the hardworking mid-level executive to a bohemian budget backpacker – it is an easy and informative read available in both French and English.

Open Skies

Open Skies

An in-flight magazine that stands out from the crowd with its art style covers and bold modernist layouts, Open Skies, Emirates’ in-flight magazine is everything its name indicates.  Open Skies is not afraid to wear its swaggering personality on its sleeve. It publishes pieces ranging from reviews of $1,000 hotel rooms to book reviews. While the focus of the magazine lies in inspiring the reader to new adventures and telling him/her what this will cost, the best feature is undoubtedly the stylistic humour and intellect of its writing.

Highlife, British Airways

Highlife, British Airways

Unlike what the name suggests, Highlife is not limited to the suit and tie businessmen. Highlife, British Airways’ in-flight magazine, has a little of everything, made interesting through catchy and nifty phrases. Flipping through this magazine will transport you from the African savannas to London’s best cigar bars, without overwhelming you with clichéd visuals of sunny beaches and craggy mountains.

Sky, Delta Airlines

Sky, Delta Airlines

Airlines set the style and tone of their in-flight publications to reflect their brand. This is why the stories are reflective of the culture of the airline’s home country and Sky, Delta Airlines’ in-flight magazine, is a prime example of this. Keeping in line with the United States’ predilection for celebrity worship, the reader is guaranteed lots of light-hearted entertainment which includes a jumble of celebrity pieces, Spanish translations and occasional informative prose.

Go, Air Tran

Go, Air Tran

The excitement and hype of Go, the in-flight magazine of Air Tran (a budget carrier operated by Southwest Airlines) is what really captured our attention. Go serves smart travel information in a well-designed, no-nonsense fashion. It provides valuable travel tips to all AirTran destinations with witty commentary and limited adverts. All in all, this informative magazine makes flying cheap seem fun, and will ensure you don’t fall asleep while flying over the Pacific.

KiaOra, Air New Zealand

KiaOra, Air New Zealand

KiaOra, Air New Zealand’s in-flight magazine is targeted towards all you culture vultures out there. What can be best described as an up-market lifestyle catalogue, this magazine is not just cheerful and breezy but also fun with a touch of cheek. Despite being a relatively shorter read, it is filled with detailed sections on everything ranging from fashion to culture, and design to food, with some striking original shots.

Other than the above, the American Airlines Magazine – American Way – and the Southwest Airlines magazine – Southwest: The Magazine – are also loved by in-flight readers for their vibrant photographs and engaging, story-like narratives.

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