Some passengers flying on American Airlines now have the chance to get free Wi-Fi for a limited time as part of a new trial to help drive awareness to its in-flight entertainment portal.
According to @xJonNYC, from April 13 to May 25, customers flying on any American Airlines Viasat-equipped aircraft (all Boeing 737s, Airbus A321s and some A319s) can get free Wi-Fi access for a limited time (around 15-30 minutes depending on the length of the flight) in exchange for watching an advertisement. Similar to Boingo, right? Customers simply have to join the aircraft Wi-Fi network and visit aainflight.com.
aainflight.com also provides access to unlimited locally-stored content such as TV shows, music, movies and more. The trial is part of an experiment to “help American better understand what inflight experiences are most meaningful to customers.” Basically AA is trying to determine if they could support part of its Wi-Fi service with external ad revenue, and possibly entice customers to buy longer data plans when the free time runs out. Regardless of the intention, it’s still a welcomed feature (hopefully a permanent one) given that American has stripped out PTVs from the majority of its narrowbody fleet.
The offer is limited to Viasit-equipped aircraft because of the network’s ability to deal with much higher bandwidth versus Gogo-equipped aircraft such as the A320s and some A319s. Prior to this, JetBlue has been the only U.S. carrier to offer free Wi-Fi (also via Viasat). Other carriers such as Delta, United and Southwest are attempting to make Wi-Fi on board more accessible by offering cheaper plans, ranging from $5-8 for either all-day or per flight plans (depending on the carrier).
[Featured Photo: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked]