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Legendary American rapper, songwriter, actor, and film producer, Ice Cube, learned the hard way this week not to rely on the airlines to keep yourself entertained. Ice Cube, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson Sr., posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his 11-hour American Airlines flight from London to Los Angeles (LAX) didn’t have working WiFi or entertainment. RELATED: 10 Things You Should Assume About Every Flight You Take
“No Wi-Fi or entertainment working on my 11 hour American Airlines flight from London to LAX. I’m in a flying jail cell. “Please put some money on my books til I get out”
No Wi-Fi or entertainment working on my 11 hour American Airlines flight from London to LAX. I’m in a flying jail cell. “Please put some money on my books til I get out”
— Ice Cube (@icecube) September 29, 2023
Ice Cube and I are the same age so he definitely remembers how flying a couple of decades ago was torture for those who didn’t like to read. I used to fly LAX to New York’s JFK every other weekend in the late ’90s and I used to just work on my laptop until my battery (and the back-up battery) died. Then I would start talking to the flight attendants to pass the time.
Fortunately, technology has improved dramatically on airplanes thanks to the introduction of power ports, entertainment systems and WiFi. In the “old days,” I used keep looking at my watch, aching for the hours to tick by but thanks to being able to work on airplanes or watch movies especially in first class, there have been times when I was bummed we were about to land.
Heck, I have a friend who booked a round trip ticket from New York to Japan so he could write his book uninterrupted. He never left the Tokyo airport! However, as Ice Cube learned, you can’t rely on the airlines to have working WiFi or entertainment systems.
That’s why you really need to be prepared for both, no matter what class of service you’re flying. I’m presuming Ice Cube was booked in First Class but he could have been in Business Class, depending on the plane. Either way, both have lie-flat seats.
As you can see from the screenshot above, American Airlines has three flights a day between London (LHR) and LAX. Two of the flights are operated by a swanky 777-300 with First Class. The other is an older 777-200 with just Business Class. I’m hoping his travel agent booked him on the 777-300, otherwise he needs to get a new one.
According to SeatGuru, American’s 777-300 has 8 flat bed seats with 64 inches of pitch (legroom) and a 78 inch (bed length). The seat is 21.5 inches wide. In business class on that plane, there’s 43 inches of legroom, 75 inch bed length and 20.5 inch wide seats. There are 52 of these seats so Ice Cube wouldn’t have gotten privacy. I’ve been fortunate to fly this plane in all classes and obviously first class is the way to go if you can afford it or can use miles (that’s what I did).
On American Airlines 777-200, there are 37 flat bed seats that are have 60-61 inches of pitch and 21-inch wide seats. See screenshot above.
I learned about Ice Cube’s problem on Reddit, which had some pretty funny comments. The one with the most up votes was by user skoizza who wrote, “I would definitely be annoyed … also reminds me of the Louis CK bit where he’s like “you are in a magic tube that transports you across the world in several hours, what are you complaining about”. They’re absolutely right. If you haven’t watched that classic Conan O’Brien interview, it’s embedded below.
Someone else wrote, “He’s also been flying since before wifi.” Then another replied, “Most people weren’t downloading movies on their phones at that time though. Yeah he could have a book but it’s a valid complaint for a modern flight of that duration.”
So, no matter how much you pay for your flight, what class you’re in or the airline you’re on, in-flight technology can’t be relied upon, which is why you need to bring a book, load up your phone or iPad with movies and shows and bring a portable charger. There’s a reason a portable phone charger is the number one item flight attendants never leave home without.
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NOTE: If you do order this charger, it may come in a package that says that it is forbidden for transport aboard passenger aircraft. It has to go in carry-on baggage, not checked luggage. Here’s what you need to know.
These days, a portable charger is an absolute essential, whether your in-flight entertainment system or power port isn’t working or whether you’re out touring for the day and can’t find a place to charge up. It’s always a good idea to have a portable charger handy and they’re light and inexpensive, so why wouldn’t you always travel with one? RELATED: How to Never Forget Your Charger in a Hotel Room Again
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