Airline Company Holds Concert in the Sky

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. in-flight / ˈɪnˌflaɪt / (adj) – describing anything done during a plane ride

    Passengers can watch movies as part of the airline’s in-flight entertainment.

  2. gimmick / ˈgɪm ɪk / (n) – a strategy used to attract attention

    The customers criticized the restaurant’s new gimmick, which involves singing waiters.

  3. backlash / ˈbækˌlæʃ / (n) – a violent reaction

    The company received backlash for its offensive ad.

  4. atrocious / əˈtroʊ ʃəs / (adj) – ridiculously bad

    The viewers found the new show atrocious because of the actors’ poor acting.

  5. one-off / wʌn ɔf / (adj) – done only once

    In celebration of the company’s anniversary, it will hold a one-off play.


Read the text below.

Southwest Airlines has added live concerts to its in-flight entertainment.

Called “Live at 35”, the gimmick entails watching a concert at 35,000 feet in the air. Although the airline company has held concerts during flights since 2011, it has decided to hold regular concerts after signing an official partnership with record label Warner Music Nashville. Some of the featured musicians include Devin Dawson, Andy Grammer, Black Cadillac, and Better Than Ezra.

Southwest has yet to reveal its band lineup and the specific flights that will hold performances, but it hinted at the possibility of holding the concert on 20 flights a year.

Nevertheless, “Live at 35” received backlash on social media. One user commented that he finds the gimmick atrocious, while another asked if it is possible to escape the in-flight concert. Despite these criticisms, the company will continue to hold concerts during flights.

Coming up with unusual in-flight entertainment is not exclusive to Southwest Airlines. As part of its 80th anniversary, Icelandair held a one-off theatrical performance on a flight from London to New York via Iceland. With its aim to be an immersive experience, the play transported the passengers to 1937 during the airline’s early days and showed highlights and changes throughout the decades. The cast consisted of professional actors and airline staff who were professionally trained. Because of the mood set by the play, one passenger shared that he was able to overcome the nervousness he usually feels when flying.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Southwest Airlines should continue holding “Live at 35” despite criticisms? Why or why not?
• If you were to come up with unique in-flight entertainment, what would it be? Describe.

Discussion B

• How can in-flight entertainment reduce passengers’ fear of flying?
• Aside from in-flight entertainment, what in-flight offerings can help passengers who get nervous when they fly?