American Airlines is expanding ‘entertainment on demand’, the airline’s inflight streaming video product, to approximately 400 Wi-Fi enabled aircraft by the end of 2012.
Oneworld-alliance member American Airlines was the first North American airline to offer in-flight streaming video, which enables customers to stream content such as movies and TV shows wirelessly from an in-flight library to select Wi-Fi-enabled laptops during flights.
The ‘entertainment on demand’ service is already available on American Airlines flights operated by the carrier’s 15 Boeing 767-200s – which primarily operate transcontinental services linking New York JFK with Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In addition, American plans to install the streaming video service on more than 90 McDonnell Douglas MD-80s before the end of 2011. The remainder of the Wi-Fi-enabled fleet, including additional MD-80s and Boeing 737-800s, will be equipped with in-flight streaming video by the end of 2012, according to American.
“Initial customer feedback shows our entertainment on demand product is a hit with our customers, and we feel it’s a great example of how we continue to deliver products our customers truly value,” says Rob Friedman, American Airlines’ vice president – marketing. “In addition to our expansion news today, we are thanking our customers for their loyalty by extending the free Internet and introductory pricing offers until October 15.”
Customers on American’s 15 767-200s currently pay an introductory price of 99 cents per TV show and $3.99 per movie for the airline’s ‘entertainment on demand’ service. Customers will also receive a free Internet session for a future flight with the purchase of a TV show or movie through October 15, 2011.
American notes its customers do not have to purchase inflight Wi-Fi to use the ‘entertainment on demand’ service. Using their own compatible personal Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, customers can click on the ‘entertainment on demand’ banner on the in-flight Wi-Fi homepage, select a movie or TV show from the titles housed in the content library, create an account or log in, enter the form of payment, and click “rent”. All major credit and debit cards are accepted.
The in-flight library features more than 100 movies and TV shows from major Hollywood studios to offer customers a variety of entertainment choices. Movies and TV shows will remain accessible for viewing after the customer has landed – movies for 24 hours and TV shows for 72 hours. Unexpired rentals will be available for playback on the ground by using the same device and browser used on board the aircraft.
American’s ‘entertainment on demand’ product is powered by the Gogo system. Movies and TV shows are stored on an on-board server, allowing the air-to-ground connection to be fully available for American’s Wi-Fi product. Some (but not all) personal Wi-Fi-enabled laptop models are compatible with ‘entertainment on demand’.
The airline says Gogo is working to increase the number of compatible devices and intends to make tablets and other devices available for use with ‘entertainment on demand’ in coming months.
For more information on the service, visit www.aa.com/i18n/urls/entertainmentOnDemand.jsp.