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Like something out of Game of Thrones, the battle for in-flight entertainment supremacy rages on. Just days after Delta announced that it will be making its Delta Studio library of movies and TV shows free to all passengers beginning on July 1, United has responded by promising that all of its flights will be chock full of programming by the end this month, too.
In a long-planned but slightly-delayed project that was temporarily derailed because of technical difficulties, United plans to outfit the remaining 90 or so aircraft in its fleet that are currently entertainment-less with streaming technology. The planes, all of which are Boeing 737s, only offer Wi-Fi at the moment, leaving passengers who haven’t stockpiled their own binge-watching supply without a whole lot of diversions at 40,000 feet. That’s because the airline moved away from the trend toward seatback devices back in 2014, deciding that customers would rather be entertained by their own laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Which passengers are fine with—as long as the flight actually gives them access to the United Private Screening library of movies, TV shows, and music (which can be streamed for free, as long as you have the United app on your device).
Though the bulk of the airline’s 737s are already equipped with this technology, that remaining lot of planes—some of which fly cross-country—proved problematic for reasons the airline didn’t seem to want to go into too deeply. When Skift asked about the delay, they were simply told that it was a result of the company working “toward a more reliable and consistent product.” In just a few short weeks, passengers will be able to report back on how successful the company was in achieving that.
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