American Airlines Adds New Apple Books Partnership

American Airlines has announced a new partnership with Apple Books. The airline’s customers will be able to take a different kind of journey with Oprah’s Book Club anytime and anywhere– even if not flying. This partnership augments American’s existing relationship with Apple that covers inflight television and music.

American Airlines getty
American Airlines is expanding its entertainment options to reach readers. Photo: Getty Images

American taps into the reading trend

American Airlines is tapping into the reading trend with a new partnership with Apple Books. The airline wants to reward its customers who fly and like to read with a special offer to kickstart or pursue their reading journey with Oprah’s Book Club on Apple Books.

Oprah Apple Books
Oprah’s Book Club reading choices will be available on Apple Books for American’s customers. Photo: American Airlines

American Airlines customers can explore an American Airlines-curated collection on Apple Books. This selection will also highlight Oprah’s Book Club picks and other reads. To learn more, head over to this link.

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AAdvantage members get a little extra

Eligible AAdvantage members who fly on American can get one of Oprah’s most popular selections free on Apple Books. February is Black History Month in the United States. So, American will be offering The Water Dancer, which is written by the talented National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates as the first free ebook offered through the program.

The Water Dancer
The book of the month is called The Water Dancer. Photo: American Airlines

Alison Taylor, American’s Chief Customer Officer, stated the following:

“Travel and books connect us with other places and cultures in ways that are invaluable to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Set during one of the darkest periods in U.S. history, The Water Dancer is a look at the injustices of slavery that is also seeded with hope. We hope our partnership with Apple Books and Oprah’s Book Club will encourage some of the thought-provoking discussions that are critical to eliminating the systemic racism Black Americans still face today.”

Those who want to engage deeper with The Water Dancer inflight can watch Oprah’s interview with Coates on the Apple TV+ channel. A custom reading guide for The Water dancer will also be available in American Way, the airline’s inflight magazine.

American expands its inflight entertainment

In the last few years, American Airlines has moved to provide a more individualized inflight entertainment system. This includes eliminating seatback screens on its planes in favor of BYOD (bring your own device). Passengers can access complimentary inflight content from their portable electronic device after connecting to American’s inflight WiFi signal. Keeping its passengers connected while in the air is a priority for American.

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American is removing seatback screens from its planes, but it is still offering complimentary entertainment via streaming to customers’ devices. Photo: Getty Images

Already, this includes access to an Apple TV+ inflight channel that features Apple Originals. For those who prefer music, American also offers Apple Music complimentary on Viasat-equipped planes.

Reading books is a relatively common occurrence on planes, though people have moved away from it as carriers have introduced complimentary movies and TV shows.

This move is one way for American Airlines to expand its inflight entertainment offerings. While some passengers may specifically choose American to get access to the Apple Books partnership, the partnership is ultimately designed to offer travelers multiple entertainment options and give them the choice of what form of entertainment they want to consume.

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American Airlines already has extensive partnerships with Apple. Photo: Getty Images

In late-May of last year, Doug Parker, the CEO of American Airlines, flew Southwest Airlines and struck up a conversation with a flight attendant. Mr. Parker was reading a book entitled White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism. The flight attendant, whose name is JacqueRae, sat down and had a nice talk with Mr. Parker about the book. According to the accounts, both of them felt touched by the encounter.

American is hoping that this partnership, and the book The Water Dancer, can inspire similar conversations that can help America get through its reckoning with systemic racism and make the country a better place for everyone who lives in it and comes to visit.

Are you glad to see American’s new Apple Books partnership? Will you read The Water Dancer and watch Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates? Let us know in the comments!

 

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