American Airlines adds free inflight Apple TV+ streaming

Aug 2, 2020

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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 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

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 photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy

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