12 Best Tracks for Airplane Take-offs

11 Nov

The seatbelt sign is flashing and yes! – you’ve totally scored a window seat. The stewardesses are shutting overhead compartments, the fat guy is situated in his aisle seat (thank God), and nobody is sitting in the middle seat to play elbow wars with! Life is pretty good. You’re just about to settle in and relax,but for some reason you can’t. Why not? Because there’s no soundtrack to kick off your flight. No, I’m not talking about Jock Jams. 

So, I have a secret confession to make. I know it’s against the rules, but sometimes I secretly put on my earbuds before take-off and camouflage them with my hair (tip for guys, you can hide them in your hoodie). I know, it’s so bad! But I only do it with an iPod shuffle, which to be honest, emits little to no radio wave frequencies.

Anyway, whether it’s for take-off or just after take-off – I have compiled a list of THE BEST airplane take-off songs for any situation you’re in. 

Scenario: You’ve been stranded in boringsville for awhile and had to move back home because you’re broke-ass from college. Luckily, you scored cheap plane tix and heading back to the city for the weekend! NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo, LA…
Track: City by Lo-Fi-Fnk
Best take-off moment: 00:30

Scenario: You’re off to a tropical destination and fantasizing about the prospect of meeting a latin lover.

Track: Rebel Rebel by Seu Jorge
Best take-off moment: any part of the song is good

Scenario:A great go-to song for a spontaneous, adventurous trips. I like to listen to this before a scuba diving trip or when I’ve just impulsively bought a plane ticket to a random destination.

Track: A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
Best take-off moment: beginning of the song

Scenario: We’ve all done it. Flying across the ocean, country, planet – to see that special someone. Seriously, if this song doesn’t make you feel love, then you’re dead inside.

Track: Helen by Nizlopi
Best take-off moment: 1:00

Scenario: It’s been a long day at work and you’re jumping on a red-eye flight and in need of some major Zzz’s. This 10-minute track will surely ease you into a peaceful slumber.

Track: Svefn-g-englar by Sigur Ros
Best take-off moment: 00:18

Scenario: You’ve totally hit baller status and somehow scored a seat on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship ride to the Moon.

Track: Mr. Roboto by Styx
Best take-off moment: 00:42

Scenario: It’s 11AM and you’re still drunk from last night – you’ve already embarrassed yourself by yelling at people and you’re wearing hangover sunglasses. You are still enjoying the buzz but eventually, you’ll probably want to go to sleep. Shhh….just go to sleep.

Track: Chicago (Acoustic Version) by Sufjan Stevens
Best take-off moment: hopefully you’re sleeping by then

Scenario: You’ve been flying for what seems like 30 hours straight, with multiple connections in-between. Delays, blizzards, lost baggage. You name it.

Track: Geography by Thao
Best take-off moment: 00:27

Scenario: You’re spreading your wings, growing up, fleeing the comfort of mom’s home cooked meals. Off to college and you can’t wait to be on your own for the first time! You just said good-bye to your weeping mother and even now on the plane you can hear her last words, ”Come back home soon!”

Track: Come Back Home by Two Door Cinema Club
Best take-off moment: 1:16

Scenario: You’re embarking on an epic Euro trip with your buddies. Of course you’re going to need some awesome French music.

Track: Safari Disco Club by Yelle
Best take-off moment: Any part of the song but 1:40 is also excellent

Scenario: A great uplifting song for that time in your life where you say F IT, I’m leaving everything behind and starting over somewhere else.

Track: Seasun -Delorean
Best take-off moment:00:16 

Scenario: It’s probably the holidays and you’re coming home to visit the family – you have mixed feelings but it’s always good to see family. A lazy, half-hearted tune from the Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack.

Track: Wig Wam- Bob Dylan (Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack)
Best take-off moment: the whole song


3 Responses to “12 Best Tracks for Airplane Take-offs”

  1. Chris February 3, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Love this. Looks like we are thinking along the same lines too. Here are some of mine:

    On your way to Paris: La Musique by Yelle
    Best take-off moment: Just hit play.

    Spaceport America (I’ve got to challenge your Styx choice): End of the Line by Daft Punk (Photek/TRON Legacy R3configured remix)
    Best take-off moment: 0:28

    Dusk or Dawn: Hey Man, Nice Shot by Filter
    Best take-off moment: Turning onto an epically lit runway (0:16), takeoff (1:42)

  2. Brock - Backpack With Brock February 3, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Great choices! I’ll have to try some of them out for my next flight!

  3. Ed Ryan March 9, 2015 at 8:12 am #

    I know I’m from a different generation so you probably have never listened to “I must be dreamin’ ” by Cheap Trick. My copy happens to be on the soundtrack to the movie Heavy Metal. When the plane starts to accelerate down the runway 0:29 is a great place to start. The fast tempo of the music and the sense of motion and action conveyed by it was the perfect accompaniment to the speed and the sound of the engines. The guitar bends come in just as you’re leaving the ground. The song is timed so well that when the plane starts banking the music changes to the heavily flanged section to match it. I challenge anyone to come up with a better take off song.

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