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may 03

Watching Movies at the Airport Just Got Easier

Look for a Digiboo kiosk in an airport near you (Courtesy Digiboo)

If you're not lucky enough to fly on one of the few domestic carriers with seat–back entertainment (I'm looking at you, JetBlue!), in–flight entertainment can be a bummer.

You've probably heard of Redbox, the service that allows you to rent DVDs from a kiosk and pay by the day. The system has become a hit among savvy travelers for its rent–and–return anywhere policy: simply rent a DVD from one location, watch the movie on the plane, and return it to any kiosk wherever you land with no additional fee. But what if you forget to stop by a Redbox on the way to the airport? Or what if your destination has no kiosks? Or what if you forget your DVD in the bottom of your carry–on and accumulate $100 in late fees? (Hey, it could happen!)

Digiboo, which launched in March, has come up with a solution: what if you didn't have to worry about disks at all? Instead, the service allows you to download a film file to a USB flash drive at airport kiosks and then put it directly on your laptop's hard drive. The touchscreen kiosks are currently available in three domestic airports (Minneapolis–St. Paul, Portland and Seattle–Tacoma) with plans to expand. Digiboo features 700 titles, which you can rent for $3.99 for 48 hours (after that, the file no longer works) or buy for $14.99. And unlike iTunes movie downloads, which can often take surprisingly long to finish, especially on slow airport wifi, the download speed should be manageable for even the most in–a–rush traveler—30 seconds for newer flash drives and up to five minutes on older ones.

The service is not without its kinks. Currently, the downloads are not compatible with Apple products, and videos are not HD. In addition, USB devices must be pre–registered on their website before you can use them. But the company has stated there will be many updates in the coming months.

So what do you think? Does this sound like a service you would use?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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