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American Airlines adds free inflight Apple TV+ streaming

Aug. 02, 2020
4 min read
American Airlines adds free inflight Apple TV+ streaming
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American Airlines flyers will have one more entertainment option the next time they take to the skies.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has quietly expanded its partnership with Apple. Beginning Aug. 1, American now offers free inflight streaming of Apple TV+ shows, an airline spokesperson confirmed with TPG.

This new streaming option is available to every flyer with a Wi-Fi capable device on flights that feature internet access. However, you don't need to pay for internet in order to stream — you'll just need the AA app on your phone or tablet or visit aainflight.com on your laptop.

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Plus, if your flight is equipped with seat-back entertainment, you'll find a selection of Apple Originals preloaded on the screen. Just note that fewer and fewer AA planes have TVs, so you'll definitely want to BYOD (bring your own device.) Fortunately, most jets have power outlets and/or USB ports, and the carrier is working to install even more outlets on other planes.

The ability to stream Apple TV+ is exclusive to American Airlines. In fact, this new feature builds upon the airline's existing relationship with Apple.

In Feb. 2019, the two companies joined forces to offer free inflight Apple Music streaming. This service is limited to AA's ViaSat-equipped domestic flights and requires an Apple Music subscription. But it offers free Wi-Fi access to Apple Music streaming without purchasing an internet package.

American Airlines Boeing 787-9 with seatback entertainment (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

Whereas Apple Music streaming requires a subscription, the new Apple TV+ partnership doesn't. That's great news for someone who'd like to enjoy a show or two without a commitment.

Related: Everything you need to know about American Airlines' Wi-Fi

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This new tie-up isn't necessarily helpful for those who already have an Apple TV+ subscription. That's because existing subscribers can download shows for offline viewing. So if you already have your shows downloaded, you can watch them anywhere, anytime — regardless of airline.

But if you didn't have time to download your favorite show before boarding, then you'll likely be relieved that American and Apple have you covered.

AA's inflight entertainment screens (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

To view what's playing on your flight, you can visit American's dedicated inflight entertainment page. After inputting your flight details, you can get a sense for what to expect onboard.

For now, the titles available are:

  • The Morning Show
  • Defending Jacob
  • Dickinson
  • For All Mankind
  • Ghostwriter
  • Helpsters
  • Home Before Dark
  • Little America
  • Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet
  • Oprah’s Book Club
  • Snoopy in Space
(Image courtesy of Apple)

American rotates the selection of movies and TV shows each month, and a spokesperson confirmed that it'll do the same with Apple TV+ content. That's great news since Apple keeps debuting new shows.

Related: Here's how airlines censor in-flight entertainment

It's great to see American continue to invest in inflight entertainment options, even if the carrier no longer sees value in offering seat-back screens. In addition to Apple TV+, you can stream a selection of movies and TV shows, including HBO series, on AA flights. Note, however, that this new tie-up comes just as AA temporarily suspended live TV streaming.

Either way, the next time you take to the skies, you'll have an exciting new entertainment option.

Featured image by (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more