I'm not an airline pilot (though I hopefully plan to be).
However, that slingbox looks like an awesome gadget to have for an airline pilot. You can actually watch live, or TIVO your shows at home and then watch them on your laptop anywhere in the world as long as you have a hi-speed connection. Perfect for a sports fan who doesn't want to miss his team's games.
I have the slingbox. I love it. Some hotels have only 10 channels, some channels aren't in english, so I then watch my slingbox. Very decent quality, easy to set up. I have it hooked up to both my cable box and my tv tuner so I can watch on Demand or just the regular channels. When I change the channel box at home on the Digital Cable, it does change it at the source. This means that if someone is home and you change the channel, they will notice. If you are on the TV tuner, no changes happen.