United Now Offers Free DirecTV on 200+ Boeing 737s

Jan 30, 2019

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While there’s long been an option to get it for cheap — just $4.99 per screen, regardless of the length of a flight — United remained one of the few US airline holdouts to charge for some in-flight entertainment options. As of Wednesday, however, United’s now offering more than 100 channels of live seat-back TV for free.

We’re talking specifically about the airline’s DirecTV offering, only available on some 211 Boeing 737 planes — many of the airline’s newer 737s don’t have seat-back entertainment at all. While JetBlue has always offered free DirecTV, United’s fee-based option dates back to the pre-merger Continental days.

A DirecTV screen on a United 737-800. Photo by Matt Zuzolo.

Note that while these aircraft may be used for some international and Hawaii flights, DirecTV service is only available within the continental United States. Fortunately, passengers aren’t just limited to live programming — all aircraft with DirecTV service also offer streaming entertainment, and everything available there is free as well, matching similar offerings from Delta and AA.

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