American Airlines Now Offers Free Entertainment Domestically, Sort Of

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American Airlines Now Offers Free Entertainment

American Airlines Now Offers Free Entertainment Domestically

American Airlines sent out an email to their frequent flyer members announcing that American Airlines now offers free entertainment domestically.  They have added free live tv and free movies & shows.  The only problem is you have to bring your own hardware most of the time.

RELATED: American Airlines Almost Ruined My Trip & Their Response


The live streaming TV will be provided by Dish and will include channels like CNN, Disney, NBC, ESPN, FOX, TNT, USA and more.  To access the streaming TV or their selection of movies & shows you will need to download the American App prior to takeoff.  This should work on your phone, computer, or tablet.

You can use these services without having to pay for Wi-Fi.  The Wi-Fi will still be an extra charge to use it.

RELATED: Why You Should Always Download the Airline’s App Before Flying


While adding a service, especially for free, is always welcomed I hate this bring your own device trend.  Southwest has done this for years on their flights and Delta does it on their planes where there are no TVs in the headrests.

I much prefer when the in flight entertainment is via screens in the headrests.  It seems like a more streamlined process, easier to use, more comfortable to watch, and overall a smoother experience.  That is why I enjoy flying Delta because they are one of the few airlines that still has in flight entertainment in economy and offers it for free.

Airlines have moved away from in flight entertainment screens to cut down on weight on the plane for reduced fuel cost. They also save on installation costs.  I usually choose to watch a movie or show I downloaded versus streaming live TV but it is nice to have the option if a big game is on or something.  I did watch Virginia become the first 1 seed to ever lose to a 16 seed live on Southwest, so it can come in handy.

What are your thoughts?  Is this a good addition or more of a meh perk?

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  1. I downloaded the app before take off and when I try to view any content, I’m told I need to be connected to their inflight WiFi. Which, of course, I am. Never got it to work.

    Each week I fly with them, I keep trying. Same result.

    • Way to announce something that doesn’t even work properly AA. Big reason why I like the in seat TVs – way less headache

  2. I agree with you and the comment above. Half the time, I can’t get my phone to connect to the WiFi. And I don’t want to have to hold my device, try to get it to stand up on the tray table (and keep the tray table down), or buy some device to watch the programming.

    • Yeah the 30 minutes after take off and before landing are when it becomes the biggest issue since tray tables have to be up too.

  3. It’s ‘meh’ at best. With AA removing the seatback screens, this is rarely useful. It doesn’t work at the gate — think long delays and screaming kids who can’t sit still — pop on a tv show on a seat back and they can be entertained. Very practical use there. Recently I was on a 3 hour delayed flight on AA and ended up watching several episodes of a tv show and an entire movie at the gate. This was on an AA 319 that has entertainment built in. The kids in the back were all fine. Remove entertainment (and power like AA has on the majority of their fleet) and you find annoyed people, impatient kids, and dead batteries even before takeoff.

    I agree with taking Delta. Overall I DO enjoy AA’s selection more as I find it to be rather incredible. I even enjoy their music channels (American Jukebox is my favorite!). But claiming all this rah-rah-rah free entertainment really is highly misleading. You must bring your own phone or pad. It works above 10,000 feet alone. From my experience, it really doesn’t work for at least the first half hour of the flight and can handle only a few people attempting to use at a time. If flying outside of the continental you are 100% screwed as authentication needs to take place while in the continental US.

    I received that same email and quite frankly it’s largely all false.

  4. I used it today without any problems. It certainly isn’t as good as Jet Blue, but not bad at all. I watched La La Land SEA/ORD and it worked great.


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