Passengers on American Airlines flights are about to get a new perk. Instead of craning their necks to catch reruns of “Monk” and excerpts from “The Tonight Show” on tiny aisle TV sets, they’ll be able to wirelessly stream content to their personal devices from the comfort of their own seats.
American announced Tuesday that it will begin testing an inflight streaming service, created through a partnership with Aircell, that gives customers choices of movies and TV shows that they can stream to Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the air.
“American was the first North American airline to launch inflight Wi-Fi, and today we again set a new industry standard as the first domestic airline to test inflight streaming video content,” American’s vice president of marketing, Rob Friedman, said in a statement. “We know our customers want to be connected on the ground and in the sky, so we are working hard to stay on the leading edge of connectivity through technology enhancements like this.”
American also announced that it will begin to expand Wi-Fi to the remainder of its domestic fleet, including 50 MD80 aircrafts and 93 Boeing 757-200 planes. The process will begin this summer and will be completed in 2012.
The airline is able to offer these features by using Aircell’s air-to-ground technology. Using three antennas fixed to the outside of the plane, the vessel is able to connect to Aircell’s broadband network. Pricing for the services has not been announced.
Testing for the streaming service begins this summer.