Limited Time: Free Wi-Fi On American Airlines

Limited Time: Free Wi-Fi On American Airlines

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American Airlines will offer passengers free Wi-Fi for a limited time, which is pretty exciting.

American’s free Wi-Fi on Viasat equipped planes

As reported by @xJonNYC, American Airlines is offering passengers free Wi-Fi for the next several weeks:

  • Free Wi-Fi will be available from April 13 through May 25, 2022
  • This will be available on Viasat-equipped aircraft, which includes a vast majority of the narrow body mainline fleet
  • Customers will have to watch a sponsored ad, and then can be connected to the full Wi-Fi offering for a limited time session (I’m not sure how long that is, exactly)
  • 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”
https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1514005252432932869

Since American doesn’t have seatback entertainment on most narrow body planes, this is a nice way to pass the 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.

Free Wi-Fi is a good way to pass time 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.

For a couple of years now, Delta executives have been talking about how the airline is working toward offering all passengers free Wi-Fi. The challenge for Delta has been that the carrier was using Gogo, which simply couldn’t support the amount of bandwidth required to offer this.

Delta has been transitioning to Viasat Wi-Fi, which is the same system that American and JetBlue use. Viasat is the best inflight Wi-Fi offering out there, and we know that Delta offering Viasat eliminates the major hurdle to free Wi-Fi becoming a reality.

When Delta does eventually offer free Wi-Fi, this will no doubt be something that other major carriers will have to match. I would guess that American is anticipating that this time may come sooner rather than later, and the airline is running this trial as a test. Presumably American wants to see what passenger behavior is like when Wi-Fi is free — how many people use Wi-Fi, how much do they use it, and how much does it differ from flight to flight?

American will likely eventually follow Delta with free Wi-Fi

Bottom line

For the next several weeks, American Airlines will offer passengers free Wi-Fi on Viasat-equipped mainline narrow body aircraft. Passengers will have to watch an ad, and then will be able to enjoy a limited time session.

It’s claimed that this is being done to drive awareness for American’s Wi-Fi offering, and to help American understand what is most meaningful to customers. It sure seems to me like American is anticipating that Wi-Fi will eventually be a standard free offering, and this is a trial to see what usage patterns are like.

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

Conversations (6)
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  1. Mark Guest

    On an AUS-MCO 737 flt today, and the flight attendant made an announcement regarding this promo. So far, so good for my experience with it. Each sponsor vid got you 30 mins of free WiFi, and there were 3 sponsors… AA Advantage being one of them.

  2. George Romey Guest

    I assume it could be like airport wifi. You "ignore" some tacky ad for 30-60 seconds and then connect to free wifi. This would be great for me. I work and travel (leisure) and sometimes I break down and pay the charge to be productive when I'm busy with work. Nice way to save myself $12-$16 dollars.

  3. Robert Guest

    AA once said they would be offering free inflight messaging. That never transpired even though other carriers offer this amenity. AA didn’t keep seat back screens even though other competitors did. I don’t have much hope that AA will lead the way. Now that Parker is gone, we will see what path Isom will take to put his personal mark on AA. Kirby broke out of the mold at United, maybe Isom will surprise us as well. We can only hope for better.

  4. Jenna D Guest

    All A321s & B737s are eligible for this promo

  5. Lance Scheartz Guest

    How to tell in advance of flight which Wi-Fi system is available on flight

    1. AA70 Gold

      On the flight results page I believe the high speed wifi equipped ones have a needle over the wifi symbol

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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.

Mark Guest

On an AUS-MCO 737 flt today, and the flight attendant made an announcement regarding this promo. So far, so good for my experience with it. Each sponsor vid got you 30 mins of free WiFi, and there were 3 sponsors… AA Advantage being one of them.

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George Romey Guest

I assume it could be like airport wifi. You "ignore" some tacky ad for 30-60 seconds and then connect to free wifi. This would be great for me. I work and travel (leisure) and sometimes I break down and pay the charge to be productive when I'm busy with work. Nice way to save myself $12-$16 dollars.

0
Robert Guest

AA once said they would be offering free inflight messaging. That never transpired even though other carriers offer this amenity. AA didn’t keep seat back screens even though other competitors did. I don’t have much hope that AA will lead the way. Now that Parker is gone, we will see what path Isom will take to put his personal mark on AA. Kirby broke out of the mold at United, maybe Isom will surprise us as well. We can only hope for better.

0
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