American Airlines’ Free (Sponsored) Wi-Fi

American Airlines’ Free (Sponsored) Wi-Fi

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While Delta Air Lines is now offering all SkyMiles members free Wi-Fi on select flights, I think it’s worth pointing out that American Airlines is continuing to offer passengers free Wi-Fi on select flights, with one major restriction.

American’s free Wi-Fi on Viasat equipped planes

In the spring of 2022, American Airlines started a trial of offering passengers free Wi-Fi. The trial was initially supposed to end within a few weeks. However, while browsing Wi-Fi options on a recent American flight, I saw that this trial never ended, and that free Wi-Fi is still being offered. American has confirmed to me that this is intentional, and that the trial is ongoing.

Here’s how American Airlines’ complimentary Wi-Fi works:

  • There’s a free Wi-Fi trial at American Airlines, with no published end date
  • This is available on Viasat-equipped aircraft, which includes a vast majority of the narrow body mainline fleet
  • Customers have to watch a sponsored 15-30 second ad, and then can be connected to the full Wi-Fi offering for a limited time session; this session is typically 30 minutes
  • This is being done to drive awareness for American’s inflight Wi-Fi offering, and to “help American better understand what inflight experiences are most meaningful to customers”
Free Wi-Fi is a good way to pass time on American

Just to show the process of accessing the free American Airlines Wi-Fi, connect your browser to American’s inflight Wi-Fi portal, at aainflight.com. Then click on “Get online.”

American Airlines Wi-Fi portal

You’ll see the paid Wi-Fi pass options ($19 for an hour, seriously?!), but if you scroll down a bit further, you should see the “Complimentary Wi-Fi” section.

American Airlines Wi-Fi portal
American Airlines Wi-Fi portal

You’ll then be redirected to the ad, which in my case was a 15-second video about the American AAdvantage loyalty program.

American Airlines Wi-Fi portal

Then you’ll receive confirmation that you have 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi.

American Airlines Wi-Fi portal

Since American doesn’t have seatback entertainment on most narrow body planes, this is a nice way to pass time on American, in addition to the carrier’s streaming library of movies and TV shows. However, it’s probably not all that exciting for those of us who pay for a monthly Wi-Fi pass on American.

Could free Wi-Fi on American become permanent?

For years JetBlue has offered passengers free Wi-Fi — it’s one of the only airlines in the world that offers this without any sort of caps on usage, and it’s a fantastic point of differentiation. Other airlines have been slow to follow, though.

As of November 2022, Delta is in the process of making free Wi-Fi a reality as well, at least on Viasat-equipped aircraft. In early November, Delta started offering free Wi-Fi to SkyMiles Medallion elite members, and then as of the middle of November, the airline started offering free Wi-Fi to all SkyMiles members. There are no data caps or time restrictions on this.

With Delta now more or less rolling out its free Wi-Fi offering, there have been quite some rumors that American will eventually match. The airline offering free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions on Viasat jets is better than nothing. However, in reality I think very few people realize this is even offered, as it’s not at all promoted.

Sooner or later Wi-Fi will be a thing that we expect to no longer pay extra for when flying, as has become standard in so many other settings.

American will likely eventually follow Delta with free Wi-Fi

Bottom line

American Airlines is continuing to offer passengers free Wi-Fi on all Viasat-equipped mainline narrow body aircraft. Customers just have to watch a short 15-30 second ad, and can then enjoy 30 minutes of complimentary Wi-Fi.

This “trial” has been going on since this spring, though in reality hasn’t been promoted at all. In fact, you really have to dig deep to find this. If you are flying with American and don’t want to pay for Wi-Fi, then this is a great option, so be sure you look out for this.

I imagine that sooner or later American will roll out free Wi-Fi on a widespread basis. If I had to bet, I’d guess it happens sooner rather than later.

What do you make of American Airlines offering free inflight Wi-Fi?

Conversations (9)
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  1. John Guest

    Sucks got 2 minutes for watching a 2 minute video

  2. Jay Guest

    In the recent 3 flights with AA in late Dec. This option is no longer available.

  3. Grey Diamond

    Do you mention in the article if you are allowed to do this every 30 minutes or if this is a once per flight sort of thing? Makes a difference on flights more than an hour or so.

  4. fancypants Guest

    Free wifi for tmobile customers still exists but only on gogo equipped aircraft.

  5. Scott Guest

    What happened to free wifi on AA for T-Mobile customers? They announced this a few months ago but I haven't actually seen it offered on any AA flights. I have seen it on United, but not AA.

  6. Joseph Story Guest

    Lucky, you are pretty horrible writing sponsored posts. Thanks for being a shill.

    1. MaxPower Guest

      You’d have to never read Lucky’s blog to think he’s an aa Schill. The guy might be AA’s biggest critic

  7. Mike O. Guest

    On the same vein of American Airlines, JAL is scheduled to move to JFK's T8 in May of next year. They won't be part of the new Terminal One consortium.

    https://www.businesstravelnews.com/Transportation/Air/Japan-Airlines-to-Colocate-with-American-at-JFK-Terminal-8

  8. Josh Guest

    ONLY the free service was available on 2 recent AA flights. And paid wasn’t even taking payments, so the whole thing timed out once there were no more ads to watch.

    First flight 2 x 20 minutes free
    Second flight 1 x 30 minutes free

    When I tried to pay, the payment screen hung - card, PayPal and ApplePay all failed to process.

    At this point, it’s really no different than the carriers making...

    ONLY the free service was available on 2 recent AA flights. And paid wasn’t even taking payments, so the whole thing timed out once there were no more ads to watch.

    First flight 2 x 20 minutes free
    Second flight 1 x 30 minutes free

    When I tried to pay, the payment screen hung - card, PayPal and ApplePay all failed to process.

    At this point, it’s really no different than the carriers making us watch commercials before every IFE movie / show. Might as well let the ad revenue pay for the service!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

MaxPower Guest

You’d have to never read Lucky’s blog to think he’s an aa Schill. The guy might be AA’s biggest critic

4
John Guest

Sucks got 2 minutes for watching a 2 minute video

0
Jay Guest

In the recent 3 flights with AA in late Dec. This option is no longer available.

0
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