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Top 5 In-Flight Magazines

Air travel

You don’t have to be a frequent flier to know that in-flight magazines are too often the height of travel magazine cheesiness. From champagne yielding cover models to a glamourous two-page spread of Louis Vuitton luggage outshining its owner. Of course there are a few gems between them that get it just right - with the right amount of allurement to draw you into a fantasy and the perfect dose of a backpacker lifestyle to bring you back to reality. For your pleasure - if you find yourself on one of these airlines - make sure not to miss these magazines.

En Route - Air Canada

En Route magazineEn Route Magazine

En Route is for two types of people: The middle class who work extremely hard, see rewards coming in slowly but surely and want to indulge in some travelling without feeling guilty; and gap year, budget, backpackers who, just for a moment, want to imagine what it would be like to quickly fit in a spa visit in the middle of a busy schedule. From visiting Madrid on a budget to overnight camping at the Grand Canyon and articles on the latest flight and airline information, En Route is an easy and informative read. Don’t expect groundbreaking journalism or tongue-in-cheek articles, but you probably won't even notice with such great pictures.

Go - Airtran

Go MagazineGo Magazine

The excitement and travel hype of Go is what really captures readers' attention. You may be taken aback by all the exclamations and adjectives, but Go really provides valuable travel tips with some witty commentary. The design is also eye-catching - big pictures, a simple blueprint and limited adverts are the basic ingredients of this fun, inviting and informative magazine, which won’t put you to sleep while flying over the Atlantic.

Highlife - British Airways


Before you skip this paragraph thinking it's for suit and tie businessmen, give British Airways’ magazine Highlife a chance. When I first picked up the magazine, I fully intended to read about the latest stock market trends, but much to my surprise, I found an article about South Africa’s "Little 10" - we all know about the Big 5, but Africa actually has other animals too! Not only was the article interesting, it was also funny. Of course, the magazine also offered other articles along the lines of the best cigar bars in London, but even this is made interesting through catchy writing and nifty phrases. I like that the magazine has a little of everything, but doesn't try to overwhelm you with clichéd beaches and scenic mountains views. Yep, High Life, you certainly have my vote.

Lufthansa Magazine - Lufthansa

Lufthansa magazineLufthansa magazine

I still have doubts about including this magazine on the list. It’s not my favourite, but for some reason, I end up reading most of the articles. Perhaps it’s the quirky German feel of it and the somewhat random topics that draws a reader in. In the spirit of the magazine’s love for minimalism, I’ll keep this short: it’s informative, funny and stands out in a league of its own.

Open Skies - Emirates

Open Skies magazineOpen Skies magazine

The magazine is everything its name indicates. Adventure, freedom, fun and the amount of money all of that will cost you. The humour is by far the best feature, and combined with intellect, it's a winning mix. The design is a comfortable mix of minimalism and colour, and effortlessly entices readers. You don't even feel like Open Skies takes risks, publishes well-written articles and has a strong focus on design. Many other in-flight magazines could take a valuable page out of their... err... magazine.

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Caelyn Woolward

Caelyn Woolward

Having lived in the same house for 18 years, Caelyn decided it was time to pack her bags and head out an adventure. The trip took her to the tiny place of Grahamstown in South Africa where she majored in Journalism and English at Rhodes University. Fresh out of university and having lived the student life for the last four years, she is slowly adapting to working at Essential Travel under the guidance of senior writers. She finds comfort in the smaller cities of the world nestled away in Europe, Africa and South America.