TALKING POINT | Let me tell you a secret. I used to love binge viewing on flights. All those hours of uninterrupted time were ideal for immersing myself into a favourite TV series.
My first inflight binge-session was on a Qantas flight to San Francisco in 2006 – long before iPads and before the term binge-viewing was even coined – when I spent every waking hour of the flight glued to Aaron Sorkin's superlative Sports Night.
An addictive precursor to The West Wing, Sports Night ran for just two widely-acclaimed seasons totalling 45 highly-crafted half-hour episodes – all of which I loaded onto my laptop.
This unique comedy-drama hybrid – complete with Sorkin's scripting gymnastics and characteristic verbal tics – had me from the get-go, and kept me on the "just one more episode!" treadmill not just during the flight but in my hotel, in the early hours of the next few mornings when jetlag sees you wide awake at 2am.
Yes, I was my own worst enemy – and I paid for that indulgence during the day.
But I didn't quite learn my lesson, and for years following I'd often queue up entire seasons of a new show and save them for the flight – and all too often with a similar result.
When I became a full-time 'business traveller', that had to stop – or at least I had to discipline myself to a handful of episodes so that I'm not tempted to break my routine and short-change myself on sleep.
(In case you're wondering – yes, I subscribe to Foxtel and Netflix, but for anything more than one episode of a must-watch show I prefer to use the downtime of travel than night-time on the couch.)
So what's my new inflight video option? I still prefer the 'BYO Content' model, preloading my laptop or tablet with video rather than rely on the movies and TV shows of the airline's own system.
These days I scout around for some engaging documentary shows, or rewatch a favourite movie but with the commentary track from the director and actors (so on next week's Virgin Australia inaugural flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong, I'll be the guy in business class watching La La Land on his laptop).
This gives me content that's fresh and enjoyable, but with a defined end-point when both my laptop and myself can power down.
What's your approach to inflight video: do you watch a movie, take in a few episodes of a favourite TV series, or get stuck into an entire season from the moment the flight takes off?