American Airlines Takes Flight with Free Wi-Fi

No More FOMO at 30,000 Feet

Get ready to ditch the airplane Wi-Fi woes! American Airlines is finally joining the party and offering free Wi-Fi options on most domestic flights. This news might have you picturing yourself scrolling through Instagram guilt-free, but there’s a little more to it than that.

The New Wi-Fi Landscape on American Airlines

Free Ad-Supported Wi-Fi

Available on Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft (most domestic flights) after watching a short ad.
Paid Wi-Fi Plans: Pay-per-flight options and monthly/annual subscriptions for full access.
The Verdict: A Step in the Right Direction

This is a big win for American Airlines customers.  Free Wi-Fi, even with ads, is a welcome change. It allows you to stay connected, check emails, or browse the web for entertainment without breaking the bank.

Limited Time for Free Browsing

The free Wi-Fi might not last your entire flight. You might get 15-30 minutes of browsing after watching an ad, which is perfect for checking emails or catching up on the latest news. But for streaming or downloading large files, you’ll likely need to upgrade.

Paid Plans Still Soar

Don’t worry, if uninterrupted high-speed internet is your priority, American Airlines will still offer various paid Wi-Fi plans. You can choose from single-flight purchases to monthly subscriptions that fit your travel needs.

How does it compare to the competitors?

While American Airlines is catching up, airlines like Delta and United currently offer flat-rate Wi-Fi purchases (around $5-$8) without the ads hassle. We might see American Airlines offer a free tier with limited functionality like some other airlines in the future. Know more about other airlines here.

What’s Next?

The free ad-supported Wi-Fi option is expected to be rolled out gradually on Viasat-equipped domestic narrowbody aircraft throughout the coming months. Most planes should offer this option by the summer travel season.
So, while it might not be completely free and unfettered internet access, American Airlines offering free Wi-Fi (with a twist) is a positive step forward. We’ll be watching to see how it compares to the competition and if they offer a free tier with limited functionality in the future.

This year AA also releases their 2024 Advantage program updates:

  • Starting May 1, 2024, the way you earn AAdvantage® miles and Loyalty Points on flights will be updated based on where you book.
  • AAdvantage® members will have more flexibility when flying on American Airlines, with new exclusive benefits coming in 2024.
  • Starting January 17, 2024, non-refundable Basic Economy fare tickets can be canceled for a partial Trip Credit for a fee under certain conditions.
  • Starting March 1, 2024, only AAdvantage® members can stand by for an earlier flight, and starting in 2024, more travel benefits will be exclusive to AAdvantage® members.
  • New upgrade benefits, such as earning miles on upgrades, upgrading with partners, and managing systemwide upgrades online, will be available in 2024.
  • New Loyalty Point Reward choices and an Enhance with Miles opportunity will be introduced in 2024.
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