My New Favorite Airline Boarding Music

Filed Under: Qatar, Travel

I know I’m a weirdo, but I really have a thing for airline boarding music. I tend to think we associate a lot of memories with music, either based on what we were listening to when something happened, or just because different music sums up different moods.

As someone who is obsessed with flying and associates a lot of memories with it, I can’t help but notice the boarding music that airlines use. To me it’s a small touch that can help set the tone for a flight. Almost without exception, I remember the boarding music (or lack thereof) that airlines use. For many people boarding is a stressful time, so I think a good soundtrack can help set the tone for a relaxing flight.

It appears I’m not alone in feeling this way. I’ve written in the past about airline boarding music, and based on how many comments there were, clearly it’s something that you guys have strong feelings about as well.

Well, I think I may have a new favorite boarding music, which is saying a lot, given how many great ones there are. I recently took four flights on Qatar Airways, and one thing that stood out to me was their excellent new boarding music, by Qatari composer Dana Al Fardan. Some of you may recognize her music even without having flown Qatar Airways, since they have also used her music in all the Qsuites advertising.

Unfortunately I could only find a one minute clip of the boarding music online (if anyone knows of a longer clip or a way to download the song, please let me know):

The song is brilliant — it’s soothing and highlights a local composer, and that’s a great thing for an airline like Qatar Airways.

What are some of my other favorite boarding soundtracks?

Oman Air has great boarding music as well.

Etihad’s boarding music is something I immediately associate with the airline, and it’s great, though in many ways I like their old soundtrack more (I listen to it all the time — it’s great music to listen to while working).

I also love Emirates’ music.

Then there’s ANA’s boarding music.

While it has nothing to do with boarding music, any time I talk about any sort of airline music, I feel like I have to mention Turkish Airlines and their “Globally Yours” soundtrack. They don’t use it anymore, probably because it was too addictive. Now that I’ve listened to it, it’s stuck in my head again.

We are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours… we are Turkish Airlines, we are globally yours…

Anyone have any other favorite boarding music that I missed?

  1. I love the Emirates music. I’m addicted, brings me all the memories of all the places I’ve flown with them using miles in first class usually to new places. So those memories are good. British Airways, not soo much, thats work.

  2. ANA’s music all the way. It is starting to sound a bit dated when you listen to it on YouTube, but once on board it works.

  3. I just took 4 QR flights and I agree. The music goes well with a nice glass of Lanson or PH Rose in a proper flute!

  4. Air France plays “The World Can Be Yours” by the French group Telepopmusik. It’s beautiful and you can download it on ITunes

  5. I was on a Cathay flight this summer and they were playing Spoon’s “Hot Thoughts”. That was my favorite.

  6. I always love the Islamic prayer that the middle carriers have. I always carry a Quran and during those prayers share the Quran with them and ask them to let me know if they have any questions about converting to Islam.

  7. I also like EVA AIR which uses modern rendition of some classic Taiwanese folk songs for its boarding and landing music. It is pretty soothing (I think even for non-Taiwanese passengers) and brings us some travel and childhood memories.

  8. while all these sound really nice when listening to from my office I remember that I got regularly annoyed by Singapore Airlines playing their boarding music (which per se was fine) quite loudly and especially for flights departing between 6 and 7am you really don’t need those when all you seek is some shuteye as soon as you’re seated.

  9. What’s wrong with silence? I’m clearly in a minority that finds airline boarding music just annoying (especially now that inflight entertainment is available during boarding). I get enough endlessly looping musac calling the airlines, I don’t need it while boarding as well.

  10. I think Emirates still has the best boarding music, it is something I listen to all the time. I also like ANA’s and have always enjoyed listening to United’s Rhapsody in Blue in their safety videos, even if they don’t really play it during boarding. I do agree that Etihad’s old music was better than their new one.

  11. Frankly, the only one I could even hum is United’s Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, all the others just fade away but listening to those above I, too, like Qatar’s music above the others, even though I’ve never flown with them.

  12. Both “Rhapsody in Blue” (UA) and Lakme’s “Flower Duet” (BA) leave me longing for the grand, romantic passenger experience they suggest.

  13. Whenever I’m on hold with Sixt (car rental company) I think of that horrid Turkish Airlines “We are globally yours song.” Sixt has their own cheesy 80s-style jingle they play as hold music. Feeeeeel the motion.

  14. I agree that boarding music can transform the boarding process. I have to mention the boarding music I hate the most: American Airlines indie boarding music. That said, it perfectly reflects the company’s flair for a poor passenger experience and lack of concern for what is appropriate

  15. Some airlines like ANA are on top of their brand management and use their boarding music as their contact center hold music.

  16. I like Air New Zealand’s boarding music. They were playing a song by Lorde when I visited a city called Auckland in New Zealand’s North Island. She has a lovely voice but it is a shame it wasn’t a good airline.

  17. We flew TK on a dirt cheap fare when they launched IAD-IST. We were humming that tune for weeks afterwards :).

  18. Grr. I’ve been trying to find the QSuites video music since it came out but have had no luck. It’s not on her website, nor on Qatar Airways or Hamad Intl’ Airport’s YouTube Channel.

    I really liked EVA Air’s boarding music. They even had a video that would accompany it on screens showcasing Taiwanese landmarks but I haven’t been able to find it via my admittedly brief searching. I haven’t flown them in years so I don’t know if they still use it though.

  19. Ha, that Turkish airlines one reminds me of waaaaay too much time listening to Cathay Pacific’s on-hold music as I was working on an award booking last year. I will never be able to erase it from my brain. I’d probably lose my marbles if I had to listen to “Globally Yours” on loop for any significant period of time…

    The new one posted in the comments is so much better!

  20. If you like this sort of music Ben go to Utube and look up a young man by the name of Tokio Meyer! Simply brilliant!

  21. I used to love the Aer Lingus boarding music – fantastic memories of holidays and trips to visit family. Can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called, can anyone help?

  22. Ben:
    I thought you loved Air France (La Premiere)
    They have marvelous little French pop music with a wonderful female vocalist.
    I love it!


  23. Really? No one appreciates (top 10s) Hawaiian Air just before landing? Nothing like seeing the islands from the air with turquoise water and the video with Hawaiian music.

  24. Dana has composed three tracks for Qatar. They’re only available to listen to on Oryx One at the moment – maybe you or someone who’s flying could record them from it next time? Her album Sandstorm is a similar style, and is free to listen to here –

    Just a shame Qatar discriminates against gays :/

  25. Hi Tom W: As per Mer’s comment up top, the Dana Al Fardan track Lucky references is on iTunes, on the album LAYLA, last track, Spirit of Thunder.

  26. Hi HereHare,

    Spirit of Thunder is similar to, but different from the boarding music and other tracks she’s specifically composed for Qatar.

  27. Not necessarily boarding music, but the ICE video intro on Emirates by Hollaphonic (still unreleased, iirc) is pretty amazing…

    And while almost nothing is whimsical about Emirates, their current boarding music with popular songs about flying (Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra, Blackbird by the Beatles, Free As A Bird by the Beatles, I Can Fly by R Kelly, I’m Like A Bird by Nelly Furtado, Rocketman by Elton John, Take It To The Limit by the Eagles… among others) is pretty whimsically cool.

  28. EVA’s always been one of my favorite. It was the Taiwanese folklore that really triggers the nostalgia among Taiwanese expats, but the latest set of boarding music composed/directed in collaboration with HK-born Singaporean composer, Ricky Ho, is even better. It’s hard to find complete music online, but you can hear them in many trip reports videos.

    The new boarding music really go far beyond the old Taiwanese folklores used (both quantitatively and qualitatively speaking), but it does sound more global and I personally think shape the brand image better. It’s a music I am willing to pay and buy for my own leisure appreciation!

  29. Turkish was still using the “Globally Yours” jingle when I lived in Turkey. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with. It’s so annoying and addictive, but also good at the same time. I don’t know why. Anyways, my favorite boarding music is definitely United’s “Rhapsody in Blue”. I find most boarding music to not be memorable, but I love “Rhapsody in Blue”. This is possibly due to the fact that I have been a United frequent flier since I was literally less than one year old, but also it’s just a good song. It’s the right blend of interesting a soothing for a boarding song and they even use it regularly in their ads.

  30. For those that really want to feel the joy of flight…the elation of flight…the sensation of being above the clouds, this LOT Polish Boarding Music is addictive!!!… You will feel what truly boarding music should be…not just a bunch of smart notes that impress…

    This is addictive!:)

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