American Airlines has begun the initial phase of the launch of a streaming-video product called ‘Entertainment On Demand’, which American is offering as a new in-flight entertainment (IFE) option for customers flying on its 15 Boeing 767-200s.
Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines says it is the first North American carrier to offer in-flight streaming video, which enables customers to stream content such as movies and TV shows wirelessly from an inflight library to select types of Wi-Fi-enabled laptops during flights.
“We’ve been deeply involved in developing the concept of streaming video with Gogo, as part of our vision of continuing to elevate the travel experience by pushing the envelope with our in-flight entertainment offerings,” says Rob Friedman, American’s vice president – marketing.
“We continue to execute this strategy and lead in this space by making prudent investments in innovative, cutting-edge technologies,” adds Friedman. “During this initial phase of launch, Entertainment On Demand allows customers to access content through select personal Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, and in the coming months Gogo intends to make tablets and other devices available for use with the product.”
Entertainment On Demand is now available on board all American Airlines flights operated by Boeing 767-200s – primarily transcontinental flights between New York JFK and Los Angeles and JFK and San Francisco – for the introductory price of 99 cents per TV show and $3.99 per movie.
Customers do not have to purchase inflight Wi-Fi to make use of the Entertainment On Demand service. Using their own compatible, Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, customers click on the Entertainment On Demand banner on the inflight Wi-Fi homepage, select a movie or TV show from the popular 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.
American Airlines’ in-flight library features more than 100 movies and TV shows from major Hollywood studios to offer customers a variety of entertainment choices. Customers can sort titles by movie or TV, genre, length of feature, and other categories. Trailers are available for complimentary viewing prior to renting content.
According to American, 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.
American Airlines began testing the new inflight video system on two Boeing 767-200s in May and received FAA certification earlier this month.
The airline says that while it is rolling out Entertainment On Demand to its entire fleet of 767-200s for customer use, the product will continue to evolve over time. American’s goal is to roll out this product on all of American’s Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft beginning later this year, pending FAA certifications.
American’s Entertainment On Demand is powered by the Gogo system. Movies and TV shows are stored on the onboard server, allowing the air-to-ground connection to be fully available for American’s Wi-Fi product. Gogo itself calls the streaming-video product ‘Gogo Vision’.
“We definitely believe this is a game-changer in the world of in-flight entertainment,” says Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief marketing officer. “Gogo Vision is a low-cost, light-weight, easy-to-install solution that’s very different from traditional IFE. The result is the airlines now have both choice and flexibility on a per-fleet basis.”
During the initial phase of launching American Airlines’ Entertainment on Demand service, only some Wi-Fi- enabled laptop models will be compatible with Entertainment On Demand. Gogo is currently working to increase the number of compatible devices and intends to make tablets and other devices available for use with Entertainment On Demand in the coming months.
For more information on the service, visit www.aa.com/i18n/urls/entertainmentOnDemand.jsp.