Is American Airlines’ Streaming Option Better Than Seatback Entertainment?

American Airlines has revealed a new feature for its inflight entertainment. The airline will be rolling out a partnership with Rosetta Stone and Skillshare. With this, American Airlines will become the first US airline to offer remote learning for inflight passengers. Starting June 1st, the partnership will go live, enabling passengers to learn a new language while flying.

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American Airlines is rolling out a new streaming entertainment option. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The new e-learning option

Through Rosetta Stone, passengers flying with American Airlines will be able to access Rosetta Stone’s bite-sized content. The language program will teach passengers the basics of a foreign language, such as how to greet people, order food, and numbers. The languages on offer include Italian, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, and Chinese.

With Skillshare, passengers will be able to tap into the “world’s largest online learning community for creativity.” Passengers should bring a journal, a sketchbook or use a napkin from the inflight services to explore classes about writing, illustration, design, photography, and creativity. Some examples of classes include:

  • Sketchbook Illustration: Draw a Personal, Colorful Travel Map
  • Creative Writing Bootcamp: Start a Brand-New Story
  • Everyday Flowers: Simple, Stunning Arrangements for Any Occasion
  • Plants at Home: Uplift Your Spirit & Your Space
  • Travel Photography: Seeing, Shooting, and Editing
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Starting soon, passengers can learn a little bit of a new language while inflight. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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How to access the options

Passengers can access inflight entertainment through streaming on a personal device. Once joining the signal “AA-Inflight,” passengers can access entertainment through the portal at

The new “Lifestyle” inflight entertainment channel will also include existing customer favorites like Calm, Austin City Limits live music, and concert performances.

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Passengers can access inflight entertainment using their devices. Photo: American Airlines

Access to this entertainment is free. Passengers can also check out offerings in music, TV, or books available through streaming on a personal device. American also outfits most of its aircraft with charging outlets so passengers can keep their devices charged. Accessing the internet outside of these options does come at a charge.

Is streaming entertainment better than seatback entertainment?

For years, passengers and influencers have slammed American Airlines for pulling seatback screens out of its aircraft. There were discussions about the end of inflight entertainment and a significantly downgraded passenger experience. However, American Airlines has appeared to counteract that notion.

While American has removed seatback screens from planes like the Boeing 737s and Airbus A319s, it has offered passengers free inflight entertainment through a streaming platform.

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Narrowbodies like the A319 are now without seatback screens, but widebodies will continue to have them. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Passengers are coming onboard with more devices than ever before, have new ways to access onboard entertainment. American Airlines has doubled down on its policy.

However, American’s inflight entertainment streaming option is incredibly diversified. From the standard movies and television shows, American has expanded its offerings to include ebooks, music through Apple Music, Apple TV+, and now language.

Updating a streaming platform over a seatback platform is generally easier. Plus, American does not have to worry about screens that do not work or bear the cost of the added weight of the seatback screens.

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While some will prefer seatback entertainment, American Airlines will only be offering such amenities on select aircraft. Photo: American Airlines

However, there is a matter of convenience. Some passengers simply prefer using a screen that is available at each seat. For example, it allows travelers looking to unplug from their own devices and enjoy a few hours in the air.

Are you a fan of streaming or seatback entertainment? Let us know in the comments!