The Strangest In-Flight Entertainment

July 18, 2023 6 mins to read

The Strangest In-Flight Entertainment: Clown Shows, Pole Dancing, and More

The days of just being able to watch one movie and listen to a crackly set of headphones for in-flight entertainment are long gone. Airlines are always coming up with new and inventive methods to keep customers engaged while they soar through the sky in the age of continual connection and ever-evolving technology. However, for other airlines, that is just insufficient. They’re going above and above by providing inane in-flight entertainment, and we’re not just referring to the appalling in-flight food. This article will delve into the bizarre world of offbeat in-flight entertainment, including anything from burlesque acts to clown shows. Put your seatbelt on because you won’t soon forget this journey!

Clown Shows and Magic Tricks

Airlines that offer clown shows and magic tricks as in-flight entertainment:

One of the earliest examples of unconventional in-flight entertainment was the inclusion of clown shows and magic tricks. Some airlines, particularly in Asia, have hired professional clowns to perform on board as a way to entertain passengers. These clowns typically perform short skits or magic tricks, often involving passengers or flight attendants as volunteers.

While the idea of clowns on board may seem strange to some, it’s not a new concept. In fact, airlines have been hiring clowns to perform on board since the 1970s. The concept was first introduced by All Nippon Airways in Japan, and other airlines soon followed suit. However, the trend died down in the 1990s as passengers became more interested in traditional in-flight entertainment options.

Despite this, some airlines continue to offer clown shows as part of their in-flight entertainment. For example, Garuda Indonesia has a team of clowns who perform on board to entertain passengers. Similarly, AirAsia has hired magicians to perform tricks on board during flights.

Reaction of passengers and airline industry professionals to these performances.:

The reaction to these performances has been mixed. While some passengers enjoy the added entertainment, others find the concept of clowns or magicians on board unsettling. Additionally, some airline industry professionals have raised concerns about the safety of such performances, particularly during turbulence.

Benefits and drawbacks of such entertainment:


  • Unconventional in-flight entertainment can help airlines differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract attention from the media and potential customers.
  • Providing unique and authentic entertainment from different cultures can also offer passengers a memorable experience and promote tourism.


  • Unconventional in-flight entertainment can be controversial and may offend or unsettle some passengers.
  • Some types of unconventional in-flight entertainment, such as pole dancing, may be seen as objectifying women or promoting sexism, which can harm an airline’s reputation and brand image.

Pole Dancing and Burlesque Shows

Airlines that offer pole dancing and burlesque shows as in-flight entertainment:

In recent years, some airlines have taken in-flight entertainment to a whole new level by offering pole dancing and burlesque shows. These airlines have hired professional performers to entertain passengers during long flights, with some airlines even offering pole dancing classes on board.

One airline that has received attention for its unconventional in-flight entertainment is VietJet Air, a low-cost airline based in Vietnam. The airline has gained a reputation for its bikini-clad flight attendants and has offered pole dancing performances on some flights.

Reaction of passengers and airline industry professionals to these performances:

While this type of entertainment may be popular with some passengers, it has also received significant criticism. Many have accused the airlines of objectifying women and promoting sexism. In response to these criticisms, some airlines have discontinued these performances, while others have defended their decision to offer them as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Benefits and drawbacks of such entertainment:


  • Pole dancing and burlesque shows can be seen as artistic performances that showcase the talent and athleticism of the performers.
  • These types of entertainment may appeal to a certain demographic of passengers who enjoy and appreciate this type of performance art.


  • Pole dancing and burlesque shows can be controversial and may offend or unsettle some passengers who find them inappropriate or objectifying.
  • These types of entertainment may be seen as promoting gender stereotypes or perpetuating harmful cultural attitudes towards women, which can harm an airline’s reputation and brand image.

Unique In-Flight Entertainment from Different Cultures

In-flight entertainment that represents different cultures and traditions:

Another type of unconventional in-flight entertainment is that which represents different cultures and traditions. Some airlines have introduced traditional dances, music, and other forms of entertainment from various countries to give passengers a taste of local culture.

For example, Air New Zealand has offered a haka dance, a traditional Maori dance, as part of its in-flight safety video. Similarly, Turkish Airlines has offered Turkish folk music and dance performances on board.

Reaction of passengers and airline industry professionals to these performances:

This type of entertainment has generally been well-received by passengers, as it offers a unique and authentic experience that they may not have had otherwise. Additionally, it can be a way for airlines to showcase their country’s culture and promote tourism.

Benefits and drawbacks of such entertainment:


  • Offering unique in-flight entertainment from different cultures can expose passengers to new and diverse forms of art, music, and dance.
  • This type of entertainment can offer passengers a memorable and enriching experience that promotes cultural understanding and appreciation.


  • In-flight entertainment from different cultures may not be appreciated or understood by all passengers, and some may find it confusing or unappealing.
  • There is a risk of cultural appropriation or misrepresentation if the entertainment is not presented in an authentic or respectful way, which can harm an airline’s reputation and brand image.


Offering unique in-flight entertainment may be the key to distinguishing out in a market where airlines are competing for the attention of a customer base that is becoming more varied and demanding. While some people may find clown acts and pole dancing absurd, they may also provide a special and unforgettable experience that distinguishes one airline from the competition.

Who knows what is ahead? Perhaps there will be live stand-up comedy performances or flying magicians. There are countless options, and as long as airlines keep pushing the envelope of what is feasible, we can only watch in anticipation of the upcoming novel entertainment option. But one thing is certain: as long as airlines keep innovating and experimenting with new entertainment options, flying will never again be dull.

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