A Millenial's List of Improvements/Ideas

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MARC Rider

AU Supporter
Apr 5, 2011
Baltimore. MD
United also has an audio channel on their IFEs to listen to ATC interactions, I’m sure many railfans would enjoy something like that without having to buy their own scanner.
They still have that audio channel? That was one thing on United that I liked. I'm a bit of a white-knuckle flier, mostly getting nervous when the plane tosses around in turbulence, even though intellectually I know that it's pretty safe, at least as long as you keep your seatbelt fastened. Listening to the calm cockpit chatter while this is going on really calms me down. Plus, you have an idea of where you are, as the pilots check in with control towers along the way, though I guess most airlines have a tracking map now.


Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Aug 24, 2003
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
They still have the equipment in place but whether the channel will actually be available or not on a flight is upto the Captain, and often it is not available.

But these days with availability of in flight WiFi via satellite I find it more entertaining to watch the flights progress on Flighradar24 or some such ADS-B driven sites. It gives a much better view of the situation around the plane that trying to decipher it from the ATC chatter, specially since a lot of the really interesting stuff now gets transmitted in digital messages via ARINC rather than via voice on ATC.