American Ups In Flight Entertainment Offering With Apple TV

While most information surfacing from the world of commercial aviation these days is rather dark and gloomy, here is some good news for lovers of travel and TV alike. American Airlines has expanded its collaboration with Apple. Since August 1st, select Apple TV+ titles are available on American’s flights, without passengers having to pay for WiFi to use it.

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American Airlines has expanded its collaboration with Apple for its in-flight entertainment. Photo: Getty Images

Expanded collaboration

American Airlines has quietly gone ahead and added Apple TV+ to its in-flight entertainment offering. The collaboration between the airline and the tech-giant began in January 2019, with American’s passengers being able to stream Apple music without having to pay for WiFi onboard.

Since August 1st, select Apple TV+ shows are available to stream free-of-charge for anyone with a device featuring an internet connection, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Simple Flying. Passengers watching shows or movies on their phones or tablets need to have downloaded the American Airlines app, while those using their laptops can visit aainflight.com.

While the music streaming service requires an Apple subscription – the offer for a three-month trial is available onboard to anyone not already in possession of one, it seems the TV+ streaming does not require an account.

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While not all American flights feature seatback IFE, Apple TV+ is available to stream via laptop. Photo: American Airlines

Internationally only on 777s

Of course, this new entertainment addition is dependent on internet being available on the flight itself. While nearly all of American’s US flights now have this feature, international WiFi is thus far only prevalent on the carrier’s Boeing 777-300ERs. These are a little trickier to catch, as the airline only operates 20, five of which are currently parked. 

Thus far, only a number of select titles are accessible to American’s passengers. These include three of Apple TV+’s flagship shows; Oprah’s Book Club, Defending Jacob with Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery, and The Morning Show featuring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon.

Furthermore, episodes of Dickinson, For All Mankind, Ghostwriter, Helpsters, Home Before Dark, Mythic Quest, and the full first season of Snoopy in Space are available. The airline also states that additional titles will be added on a regular basis.

While not many of American’s planes feature seatback IFE anymore, the carrier has outfitted almost all seats with power plugs, so it is a good idea to bring your own device for viewing in either case.

Internet is only available on American’s international flights operated by its 777-300ERs. Photo: tjdarmstadt via Wikimedia Commons

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, throwing itself into the battle for the streaming subscription viewers. It offers a small but growing number of TV-shows, with dozens of original series and movies in the works. Among others, there is See, a post-apocalyptic drama starring Jason Momoa, where civilization has been all but wiped out by, well, a virus. All remaining survivors have been left blind, hence the title.

Many titles have, of course, been put on hold, but there is still reason to believe that Apple TV+ could be a contender for knocking Netflix of its streaming-throne in the future. Or at the very least give HBO, Hulu, and Disney+ a run for their money, especially at the very attractively priced $4.99 per month.

However, if you do not want to pay for yet another streaming service, but you really want to watch Apple TV+ shows, now, at least there is an airline that will accommodate you on your next journey.

What are your thoughts about American upping its IFE options? Is this a good move by the airline? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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