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American Airlines Takes Broadband to New Heights

American Airlines is pledging to offer better broadband Wi-Fi for faster surfing, streaming and downloading across its entire mainline fleet

June 17, 2019

​​​​American Airlines is putting its attention on what passengers may want most: Wi-Fi that works. To that end American Airlines now offers customers access to high-speed satellite Wi-Fi and live TV on more aircraft than any other airline.


As many of us struggle to answer an email, look at a news report or, gasp! watch something on Netflix know all to well, the clicks to nowhere, the beach balls that logging in and re-logging that seems to stay in a frustrating loop. For business travelers, getting work done beyond spreadsheet correction or minor document editing can be a pipedream.

American Airlines plans to change that. The company recently completed installation of fast, consistent and tech-forward connectivity across its entire long-term mainline narrowbody planes — some 700 aircraft.

Satellite-based Wi-Fi allows customers to stream video without buffering or interruptions; upload and download files with ease; and stay connected from gate to gate. Upgraded bandwidth capacity ensures customers won’t compromise on connection quality or speed, even if every customer chooses to access inflight internet at the same time.

Additionally, every satellite-equipped aircraft can now stream live TV, giving more customers access to a dozen channels on their personal devices free of charge. American is already the only U.S. airline to offer live TV on international flights.

To Connect or Not to Connect

American’s domestic narrowbody aircraft now offer either Gogo 2Ku or ViaSat Ka, both satellite Wi-Fi products that operate via satellites in the sky instead of towers on the ground. Once onboard, customers can connect to American’s Wi-Fi signal on their personal device. From there, customers can log in to the provider’s portal and choose to purchase internet, watch free live TV or stream hundreds of other complimentary entertainment options.

The high-speed Wi-Fi and live TV expansion are American’s latest investments in the onboard customer experience, complementing the inflight entertainment and connectivity already available on its widebody aircraft. Earlier this year, American launched a partnership with Apple Music to give customers access to more than 50 million songs, playlists and music videos through complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi. The airline already provides complimentary wireless entertainment throughout its fleet, offering great movies and on-demand televisions shows for customers to enjoy on their own devices.

But That’s Not All…

* Power: American is installing power at every seat across its mainline fleet, allowing customers to charge their devices inflight and deplane at full battery. The airline has been installing power at every seat across its two-class regional fleet as well.

* Tablet holders: The majority of American’s narrowbody aircraft will be retrofitted with a tablet holder for hands-free entertainment on board. USB power will be positioned next to the tablet holder for easy charging.