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In Time for Cannes, Air France Serves Up Cinema to Go

To mark the 36th anniversary of the airline’s partnership with the Cannes film festival, Air France introduces Cinema to Go, a service which lets passengers finish enjoying their in-flight films after the flight has landed.

Passengers will be able to use a gift code issued by the airline to access their in-flight film on a smartphone, tablet or PC.

The promotion is amusing. The live action scenes of films in different genres are interrupted by a friendly flight attendant who explains that the flight is about land and the system will switch off. The actors react to her suddenly appearing in the film and issuing such an abrupt “cut.” Happily, this is followed by an explanation that passengers can finish enjoying the movie on their own time.

Cinema to Go will be available for a limited time, from May 7 to 21, on certain flights from Los Angeles to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. It applies to specific “Cannes Film Festival” selections, including previous award winners like The Pianist, Persepolis, and The Artist, but it’s a very interesting service for airlines to explore in other applications.

Devin Liddell, TEAGUE Design’s Principle Brand Strategist, who has dreamt-up creative alternative airline business models which could help fill experience and touch-point gaps in the journey, while making air travel more convenient, has previously suggested that such arrangements could be made between airlines and hotel chains. The idea might be that you could automatically see the film you didn’t get to finish onboard at your hotel room, the link assisted by the airline app or a similar service.

As Liddell points out, this is a missed opportunity to make passengers a happier–who hasn’t been frustrated by the AVOD (Audio Video On Demand) system switching off just when the movie was getting good?

Creative Content

There are limitations for what airlines can do with their film selections, and how many they can offer playable on portable electronic devices for the same reason there are limitations on content on the ground: piracy concerns.

By collaborating with Cannes Film festival on this Air France raises interesting questions on the future portability of at least some in-flight entertainment selections.

This Air France promotion is well worth watching. It could prove to be a big hit!

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