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American Airlines to Offer Free Wi-Fi on all Domestic Flights

All passengers will be able to access the ad-sponsored service on American's Viasat-enabled domestic fleet

by Samir Kadri

March 25, 2024

American Airlines traveler reclining in First Class / Photo: American Airlines

American Airlines will provide free in-flight Wi-Fi to passengers on all its domestic flights as part of a new ad-sponsored option that will be available in the coming weeks.

Previously, only certain T-Mobile customers could access free Wi-Fi on their phones through the ‘In-Flight Connection On Us’ program. In the future,¬†customers will have access to gate-to-gate connectivity on American’s Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft, providing full connectivity from when passengers enter the plane to when they exit.

The ad-sponsored free Wi-Fi is part of a series of enhancements American Airlines is implementing to improve in-flight connectivity and entertainment, including several paid options.

Photo: Courtesy of American Airlines

AAdvantage members will soon be able to use their miles to pay for Wi-Fi, with all the airlines’ Viasat-enabled domestic aircraft projected to offer this amenity by the summer travel season.

In addition, American Airlines and satellite services provider Intelsat have partnered to supply 500 of the airline’s dual-class regional aircraft with high-speed Wi-Fi. The airline has revamped its Wi-Fi portal to make purchasing onboard connectivity upgrades easier, with strategic pop-up messaging aiding customers with site navigation.

Catching up with the industry

In-flight Wi-Fi is fast becoming the norm across the aeronautical industry as airlines recognize that passengers want to stay connected. Many airlines now offer free Wi-Fi as a standard across their services.

Last year, Singapore Airlines offered unlimited free Wi-Fi to all its passengers, while Emirates and Etihad provided all members of their loyalty programs with complimentary Wi-Fi.

American Airlines Premium Economy. Photo: Courtesy of American Airlines

From a U.S. standpoint, JetBlue offers free Wi-Fi across its entire domestic fleet, and Delta Air Lines provides its SkyMiles members with free connectivity. In an increasingly connected world, airlines may have to offer free onboard Wi-Fi to keep passenger numbers up.

American Airlines claims to be the first airline to offer streaming options on 100 percent of its mainline aircraft, with customers able to enjoy 1,500 different pieces of free content while on board. The airline updates roughly 200 titles monthly to ensure their entertainment stays fresh. Options are chosen based on customer feedback, data analysis, and current trends, with a host of hit movies, TV shows, and audio on offer.

American also has a dedicated awards channel showcasing all the 2024 winners and nominees. Other notable channels include a Women’s Stories channel, highlighting talented females from across the industry, and a dedicated Horror channel featuring an array of scary blockbusters.

The airline’s youngest flyers have also not been forgotten, with several baby sensory videos on the show to capture young children’s imaginations, contributing to a calm, relaxing environment for parents and other passengers alike.

Meanwhile, wellness aficionados will find videos on meditation, affirmations, seated stretches, and other well-being categories as part of American’s partnership with tech company FitOn.

Music fans can access in-depth interviews with some of the most exciting artists in the world using Center Stage¬†–¬†American Airlines’ dedicated in-flight music channel.