American Airlines announced today that they’ll start rolling out an in-flight streaming entertainment service for users of Wi-Fi-enabled devices (read: most smartphone, tablet, and laptop owners) on flights. While the airline currently offers Wi-Fi service provided by Aircell on many of its flights, the streaming service will be more of a pay-per-view set-up, where users will pay anywhere between $1 and $5 for a movie or recently aired TV episode.
This sounds like a great solution for anyone who meant to download a few episodes of their favorite shows before flying the friendly skies, but then forgot to do it before leaving home. There’s no word yet on whether or not the movies and shows will be edited for profanity and content the same way that in-flight movies of yore were edited. Presumably, if a customer is paying for content that’s going directly to their iPad, it wouldn’t need to be edited for mass consumption.
We also haven’t heard exactly which movies and shows will be available through the service, but it’s probably a safe bet that Airplane!, Snakes on a Plane, The Langoliers, and several episodes of LOST will not be in their catalog.
If you’re more concerned about staying connected during your flight and keeping your gadgets powered than watching movies, fear not. American also announced today that they’re expanding their in-flight Wi-Fi service to more of their planes including the MD80, Boeing 757-200. They’re also continuing Wi-Fi installation on their Boeing 737-800 fleet. The two Boeing fleets are also being equipped with more AC power ports, which don’t require the special adapter that the DC power ports needed.
The service is currently in testing and will roll out later this year, assuming the FAA gives its blessing.
Would you pay to watch a movie in-flight on your phone, tablet, or laptop? Or does your device already have enough on it to keep you occupied? Let us know in the comments.