American Airlines has reached a milestone with WiFi now covering its entire mainland fleet.
According to a statement released by American Airlines on Monday 17th June, the Dallas-based airline is now offering customers high-speed, satellite WiFi and free live TV on all 700 of its narrow-body aircraft.
Having satellite-based WiFi will allow American Airlines’ passengers to stream video without buffering or interruptions. American Airlines customers will be able to download or upload files with ease while staying connected from gate to gate.
The upgraded bandwidth capacity also ensures that passengers will not have to compromise speed, even if they wish to watch live streaming television.
In addition to the high-speed Internet connection, passengers on American Airlines will now have the choice of watching 12-live television channels on their own personal devices free of charge.
Before this latest announcement, American Airlines had already set the benchmark for other airlines to follow by offering live television on international flights.
Kurt Stache, Senior Vice President for Marketing, Loyalty and Sales at American Airlines said in a press release,
“Elevating the travel experience is one of our top goals at American and we’ve been working hard to provide our customers with the same level of entertainment and connectivity options they enjoy in their own living rooms. In less than two years, we completed broadband internet installation on our entire mainline fleet and we will continue setting new standards in the industry to show our customers we value the time they spend with us.”
How to connect to the internet when flying with American Airlines
All aircraft on American Airlines domestic flights are now equipped with either Gogo 2Ku or ViaSat Ka which enables passengers to surf the web at speeds comparable to their home and office.
Rather than using towers on the ground to connect to the internet, the connectivity on American Airlines relies on satellites in the sky.
On board the aircraft, all passengers have to do is connect their telephone, tablet or laptop to the provider’s portal. Once connected they then have the option to purchase time on the internet, watch live television or stream from a library of TV shows and movies.
What can we expect next from American Airlines?
Now that high-speed internet access has been achieved on all of American Airlines’ fleet of aircraft, the airline is busy installing a personal power point in every seat.
By doing this, all passengers will have the ability to charge their devices during the flight and depart the aircraft knowing they have a full battery. The majority of American planes will also be fitted with tablet holders that come with a USB port, so that passengers can enjoy hands-free entertainment.
How much does it cost to use American Airlines WiFi?
While all this high-speed internet is great, American Airlines have invested a lot of money to make it possible. This means they plan to charge passengers for internet access. According to Skyscanner, inflight prices start at $12 for a two-hour pass, $17 for four hours and $19 for the entire flight.
Frequent flyers can purchase monthly WiFi packages for $45.99 plus tax. Having the ability to be connected to the outside world while in the air is great. What is a shame, however, is that you have to pay in order to use it.
Domestically, American Airlines don’t need to worry about their rivals offering free WiFi, as they are all making money out of it. Internationally, things may be different, as at some point they will have to compete with carriers who offer free internet access on their flights.