I guess this is better than nothing?
American introduces free Facebook Messenger
As of today (December 16, 2020), American Airlines will trial offering free Facebook Messenger and Messenger Kids on most flights with Viasat high speed Wi-Fi. Viasat Wi-Fi is available on most mainline narrow body aircraft (it’s not available on regional jets or wide body aircraft).
To connect, you simply have to download the Facebook Messenger or Messenger Kids app before your flight, and then when you’re in the air you can connect to the AA-Inflight Wi-Fi signal and launch your messenger app.
American says that “the holidays are a special time to enjoy quality time with the people that matter most, and this is just another way customers can connect from the sky to let family and friends know they’ll see them soon.”
The airline also says that this trial will guide future planning. As before, American will continue to offer music, movies, and TV shows that can be streamed directly to passengers’ devices, as long as you have the American Airlines app on your phone or tablet.
This is a step in the right direction
Look, it’s objectively nice that American has introduced some form of free inflight messaging, though it’s also hard to get excited about, both from a competitive standpoint, and from what American itself has promised in the past:
- This is only a trial, so it’s not even a permanent feature as of now
- This is limited to Facebook Messenger, and not other messaging services; there’s nothing like Facebook Messaging with grandma, so she can share recipes and screenshots of pictures with you, eh? 😉
- A few years ago American Airlines said it would introduce free inflight messaging, but nothing ever came of that
- Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines permanently offer inflight messaging across platforms, and have for quite a while
American Airlines has introduced free inflight messaging through Facebook Messenger. For now this is a trial, though it could stick around. If you’re not someone who would otherwise pay for wifi then this is a positive development.
Unfortunately the offering isn’t as robust as what you’ll find on Alaska and Delta, but it’s better than nothing.
Will you benefit from American’s new inflight messaging?