Read airline inflight magazines at home? Are you mad? British Airways thinks its magazines are so good that you can read them at home on your iPad via an app.

Generally, airline magazines are glossy advertising packed pages of dross that are good for a flip through on board when you have nothing else to do, but little else. What about at BA?

British Airways Magazines

Since the class system is alive and well on board aircraft, British Airways have not one but three different magazines. Each one is available for you to read at home and each targets a different segment of the market.

But are any of them actually worth reading? Let’s have a good look at what is on offer here, as why waste your time on something if it is unbelievably bad.

High Life

This is the monthly magazine you will find in all seat pockets on British Airways aircraft. For November 2017, headline is “When Brian Cox Met Buzz Aldrin”. An Apollo Astronaut? I’m in!

While Buzz avoids some of the questions at times by answering fairly off topic, it is a good enough interview. It is laid out quite nicely and has a decent selection of interesting pictures, including of his Omega watch in a fine show of product placement.

Proudly proclaimed The Adventure Issue, all the articles have this theme. There’s an adventure hot list, an article about a rope free climber scaling Yosemite, ice breaker ships in Finland and plenty more.

Naturally 40 pages of the 158 are devoted to advertising, not including all the little postscripts. There are another 57 pages in the Directory, which is all those route maps and so on which are staples of airline magazines the world over.

Business Life

Passengers flying in Club World or Club Europe on British Airways also receive the monthly Business Life magazine in their seat pockets. I find this the most interesting of the three magazines.

The cover story for the month is called “Look, No Hands – How Will A Driverless World Work?” which really gives an indication of the type of things featured.

Each issue is divided into five sections which are Trend, Talent, Tech, Thoughts and Travel. For example, Talent has an article on the dangers of depression for entrepreneurs, Tech has the cover story, and Thoughts includes an article called “Persuasion” with the line “Steve Martin on why we all love being marked out of ten.”

Clocking in at 76 pages, it is far smaller than High Life but to me, far more interesting. Advertising fills 29 of the pages which is just over 38% of the issue. Interesting!

First Magazine

Those flying international First are a rare breed and they get their very own magazine as well. Luckily us peons can read it by downloading it via the app store.

Issued quarterly, each one has a specific theme. The current one is “The Body Edition” while an earlier one was “The Water Edition.” One thing I liked is the current issue has some video content, specifically about Rosie James who did the cover. Fascinating!

Another article goes to Rolls-Royce and delves into the hand making of the cars while another is by a British Airways pilot on the anatomy of aeroplanes. There are many more as well, which are just as intriguing.

There are 19 ads but it is difficult to determine the amount of pages. In this app you swipe left to go to the next page or article, then you scroll down to read the article in full rather than it being on distinct pages. It’s different.

Overall Thoughts

Why do I highlight the British Airways magazines? Recently two of the three apps updated on my iPad and I remembered they were there, so that inspired the story. I also think they are quite good all round. By comparison, I think the magazine that Aer Lingus issue called Cara is filled with dross and is terribly boring as are many others I’ve come across.

You should probably check if your airline has its magazines online if these are your thing. I would recommend anyone to give the Business Life and First Life a go and it’s easy enough to load into your iPad.

Do you know of any particularly good inflight magazines? I’d love to hear about them. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Blair Fraser via Unsplash.
All other images via British Airways.