American Airlines Launches New Partnership With TikTok

Customers flying American Airlines now have a new inflight entertainment option to look forward to. Starting today, American Airlines has launched a partnership with TikTok. This partnership allows customers to connect to the WiFi onboard the aircraft and browse TikTok videos.

American A321
American Airlines is offering customers access to TikTok inflight. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American Airlines launches a new TikTok partnership

Starting today, customers flying American Airlines on Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft can get free access to TikTok inflight. Passengers will just need to connect to the “AA-Inflight” signal. After this, if you are not automatically redirected to aainflight.com, navigate to that website to access the WiFi portal and click on the TikTok ad to take advantage of the partnership.

For those customers who are not currently TikTok users, the inflight WiFi will allow you to download the app without having to pay for premium WiFi. However, to save time, it is better to come onboard with the app already downloaded.

The partnership allows users to get 30 minutes of free access to TikTok inflight. Once those 30 minutes are up, users will be alerted and have the option to purchase WiFi to continue using the app, or to end their session.

American Airlines Launches New Partnership With TikTok
Customers will benefit from the partnership if they are on a ViaSat-equipped aircraft. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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WiFi is getting better inflight

An app like TikTok needs a solid internet connection that allows for streaming videos. A few years ago, inflight WiFi was not guaranteed on most aircraft in the skies above the US. For those planes that were equipped with WiFi, it usually was not fast enough to be able to handle streaming entertainment.

Clarissa Sebastian, American’s Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products, stated the following on the new partnership:

“Faster Wi-Fi allows us to deliver diverse inflight entertainment options and invest in innovative partnerships with platforms like TikTok. Customers play the lead role in helping us better understand what content they want during their inflight experience and TikTok is one of the platforms they love on the ground, and we’re thrilled to work with Viasat to give customers free access to TikTok while they’re in the air as well.”

AA WiFi
While this is a promotional partnership, American does want to keep the option around if customers react positively to the partnership. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Curating an inflight entertainment offering

American Airlines, several years ago, decided to move away from seatback screens in favor of streaming entertainment. Thus far, AA plans to keep this strategy. Since then, it has worked on creating a robust array of options for customers to use when inflight by streaming it on their own devices.

American has rationalized this move by highlighting the fast-changing nature of technology, screen resolution, and popular content offerings as a reason to avoid investing in seatback entertainment that could become outdated quickly in favor of investing in WiFi for faster streaming and more options.

The airline has stated that over 90% of its customers bring a device onboard the aircraft. This mostly includes smartphones and tablets. TikTok is a very popular app that most smartphones can support.

American Airlines Launches New Partnership With TikTok
Customers will be able to download TikTok inflight, but it is better to step onboard with the app already on your device. Photo: Getty Images.

American Airlines is far from the only airline that does not offer seatback entertainment inflight, even as other carriers look to bring it back. Other well-regarded carriers, including Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines, have opted for streaming entertainment options.

One thing that American Airlines does well is providing power for customers who have to use their devices to access entertainment. Including both power outlets and USB charging ports, customers can certainly stay charged up inflight. Not every airline offers this amenity.

American Airlines has invested in its inflight entertainment offerings. The carrier offers a partnership with Apple Music, a Lifestyle Inflight Entertainment channel, and e-learning tools (like Rosetta Stone) complimentary inflight. This is on top of the over 600 movies and TV shows available for streaming – all free of charge.

American Airlines 737-800
American has bet on streaming over seatback screens, and so far, it is continuing to stick with that plan. Photo: Getty Images

TikTok is definitely an app that more younger travelers use. Millennials and GenZ travelers are more likely to utilize this partnership than older travelers and frequent fliers – though TikTok does have options for all age groups.

Millennials and GenZ are becoming more forceful in the travel world. These customers are making up a larger proportion of travelers in the air and airlines are rethinking ways to get these passengers to fly with them today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and over the next decade. One of these methods includes turning to improving inflight entertainment options and catering to options that these travelers want to use – like TikTok.

Are you going to take advantage of the American Airlines partnership with TikTok? Let us know in the comments!

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