American Is Now Offering All In-Flight Entertainment For Free

In early June, Delta became the first US airline to offer all in-flight entertainment for free. Previously they offered some basic content for free, and then charged extra for their “premium” content. As is usually the case with US carriers, I suspected other carriers would follow suit pretty quickly.

Delta-Inflight-Entertainment

While it took a couple of months, American is now also offering all in-flight entertainment for free, including premium HBO content. Per the press release:

American Airlines is continuing to elevate the customer experience by adding complimentary premium movies, TV shows, music and games in the Main Cabin on all domestic flights offering seatback entertainment systems or Wi-Fi. Beginning this month, customers will have unrestricted access to the best and largest content library among the U.S. carriers from their own device or seatback entertainment systems.

“American is further investing in and personalizing how our customers travel by giving them the most in-flight entertainment options onboard our aircraft,” said Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president – Global Marketing. “Our employees do an outstanding job taking care of our customers and combined with a fleet of aircraft that is the youngest of the U.S. carriers and onboard products like complimentary premium entertainment and snacks, American is creating an unmatched travel experience that all of our customers can enjoy.”

Customers traveling on American flights will be able to enjoy premium shows like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Silicon Valley” as well as new movie releases such as “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Boss” and “The Lobster.” Available inflight entertainment will vary by aircraft type. Nearly 300 of American’s aircraft have seatback entertainment, with more being added every month. All American domestic mainline aircraft and two-class regional jets offer in-flight Wi-Fi. Customers can download the American Airlines mobile app to access this free, premium entertainment.

American-737-Economy-Class

Awesome! Now if only American would do a better job of updating their fleet with entertainment systems, that would be even better. I’m talking about the ex-US Airways A320 and A321 aircraft, for which American still hasn’t announced a refurbishment schedule, meaning they don’t have Main Cabin Extra, power ports, or inflight entertainment.

Still, this is great news all around!

(Tip of the hat to The Forward Cabin)

Comments

  1. I know. On Sunday we were on a USAirways AA flight from LAX to DFW.
    Not pleasant (although the pilot was flawless.)
    I wish they would code those older planes with the unhappy USAir Flight Attendants. I would book on a different flight, if only I knew. And, question, why do those FAs still wear their USAir pins, etc?

  2. I just wish they’d drop their subcarriers. If one of the main US carriers were to fire their Connections/Eagle/Express/B-Team providers and just run the flights themselves on updated aircraft (ideally ones larger than my work cubicle, unlike the Connections/Eagle/Express/B-Team planes), they would have my undying loyalty forever.

    You can book a LAX-JFK flight on some sweet Airbus A321T, and if it’s cancelled, they’ll reroute you through PHX, DFW, and ORD on a puddle jumper so small that it couldn’t fly the route nonstop even if they wanted to. This announcement is like Wal-Mart declaring that they’re going to offer complimentary spa treatments and personal shoppers, but only in their Arkansas stores.

  3. The new entertainment feature is great. Last week I flew the American A321 T to JFK in a premium cabin but didn’t notice it was free for economy this month. Then over the weekend I flew from LGA-MIA in a new American 737. I believe N955nn. I was upgraded to first but I heard FA’a committing during boarding that their were TVS with a big selection. I knew it was not as big in Economy and not free so I was confused to why they were saying it. Then after takeoff they screened the spotlight video and the video said “100 of hours of free entertainment on us” and being the last row in First I knew it was not an video just for first as I could here it in Economy. Great investment on Americans part and it looked a lot more pleasent in Economy now, the power at every seat and wifi was already great but now that the entire huge selection is free it will make flying on long 737 and A321 flights (on air crafts with it) much more pleasant. Do you think that United and Virgin America will shortly follow?

  4. I was extremely impressed by the movie selection on AA’s A321s, but they really need more planes with PTVsj

  5. I don’t think that the old US Airways a320 will get IFE but, hopefully they get them out by 2020ish. Hopefully when/if Aa retrofits their international 757s it will be better than the retrofitted 767s (in Y).

  6. Ninety percent of the time I am on MD-80’s, A319/320/321’s or commuter planes so color me unexcited until US dba AA modernizes their fleet. Maybe it’s just my bad luck, but it would be interesting to know the percentage of AA’s seats that actually have IFE now.

  7. You can always watch the entertainment on your personal device – laptop, phone, ipad

    This is a great move. Will make those long CLT-SFO (even in F, with no IFE) much more bearable. Knew it was a matter of time after DL did it, they would follow.

  8. Don’t you love spending F fares for PHX-HNL and getting an ex-US Air 757 with no IFE, no power ports, and 6 inches of space between your knees and the bulkhead? In First???

    If you are stuck flying out of Philadelphia or Phoenix on AA, enjoy your 757.

    Sadly, this announcement means nothing to me.

  9. Thank goodness. I paid for a movie my last AA flight, because I waited til the last minute to download one on Amazon Prime and it didn’t load in time, but once that was over, the offerings were dismal. They used to show comedies or more crowd-pleasing content on their overhead tvs. This time the only shows were both dark, somewhat violent, dramas (as was the case the last time I flew an AA plane with seatback IFE). That’s not exactly what I want to watch on a plane where I already have my nerves on edge, and not something I’d feel comfortable having a child watch.

  10. I can only speak of my experience. Being relegated to flying out of DFW, I’m usually stuck on an older plane with no entertainment. It’s only if I fly from the coasts into DFW that I get the opportunity to have a better experience. As usual the world headquarters is the last to get the updates and upgrades.

  11. Did y’all even read it?

    “complimentary premium movies, TV shows, music and games in the Main Cabin on all domestic flights offering seatback entertainment systems or Wi-Fi”

    “All American domestic mainline aircraft and two-class regional jets offer in-flight Wi-Fi”

    What’s the problem here? This is great news!

  12. @kyle,

    Thanks. I missed the part about being able to access entertainment via the AA mobile app now.

  13. PEOPLE, you all need to stop complaining…especially about domestic First/Coach lol! I mean really? I’ve flown the good and the bad of domestic offerings and expect very little outside of Transcon, widebody and VX flights.

    In a relationship, you should not rely on your partner for your happiness!. Ding ding ding!!!

    When flying you should not rely on the airline to satisfy you domestically at this point ;-). If I’m walking off the plane at my destination via a Jetbridge or Stairs, I’m happy!

    BYO entertainment….jeez Almost everyone flying has a cellphone, ipad or computer. Sometimes I watch stuff on my laptop while in international First if the selection offered does nothing for me. I do not complain, I have my own selection pre-loaded always.

    What a bunch of whining little bitches and bastards over something that is NOT important. A bunch of mind controlled zombies!! Read a book or magazine, listen to some music on your phone.

    This civilization is sooooo over!! In general, Americans are the worst.

  14. @Jordon,

    This was satire, right? Please tell me those last couple of paragraphs were supposed to be satire and you just need a little more practice.

  15. @Jordan

    Truth in advertising is important here in the US. If you say you offer it, then offer it. Don’t only offer if there are all these other conditions that have to be met (only available on X% of your fleet). That’s like saying I’m 75% vegan because I only eat a non vegan meal at dinner. WRONG! You’re not vegan. I think vegans pretty adamant about that! Now, that’s satire!

  16. I’ve been doing roundtrips every month since October from DCA/DFW and so far no seat-back entertainment on old 737s. Guess my route will get them in another year or so…

  17. FYI, the seatback IFE entertainment is now totally free, but Wifi provided entertainment is not 100% free. Wifi free entertainment is limited to roughly 5 movies and 2 TV shows, which is less than 5% of the total Wifi entertainment content. This is a shame because the LUS fleet only has Wifi entertainment. Delta offers free Wifi entertainment on their planes that have it, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before AA follows suit.

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