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American Airlines Tests Free Wi-Fi on Most Domestic Flights

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

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Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Free inflight Wi-Fi is the stuff that dreams are made of for frequent flyers and social media addicts alike.

American Airlines is making that dream a reality for some passengers as the carrier is rolling out free Wi-Fi on some of its narrow-body fleet from April 13 through May 25, 2022.

Whether it’s sending important emails or posting your first vacation selfie at 30,000+ feet, you’ll now be able to do so for free. Don’t get too excited though, as there are a couple of catches.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

American Rolls Out Free Inflight Wi-Fi on Some Domestic Flights

The first catch is that the free Wi-Fi will be available only on American’s aircraft that are Viasat-enabled. Thankfully, this accounts for the majority of the airline’s short-haul, narrow-body fleet, so there’s a good chance you can browse the internet, check emails, stream videos, and text while on your next flight.

Secondly, it seems that there is likely to be a limit on how long the duration of the free Wi-Fi connection is. Free Wi-Fi passes typically last around 30-minutes to 1 hour, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this was the case.

You’ll also be required to watch a small video advertisement explaining American’s Wi-Fi before being able to connect for free.

American Airlines wi fi browsing laptop
Image Credit: American Airlines

If you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer and pay for monthly Wi-Fi access, then this is not likely something you’ll be excited about initially.

However, if American eventually makes free Wi-Fi for all a permanent feature, you’ll be able to cancel your subscription and save yourself up to $59.95 per month.

Bottom Line: Being connected while flying tens of thousands of feet above the earth is still a relatively new phenomenon. We put together this guide on how inflight Wi-Fi works, as well as the airlines that offer it and the price you can expect to pay.

If you’re not a frequent flyer and don’t have a subscription, American Airlines usually charges as little as just $10 per flight to be connected.

An interesting point to note is that JetBlue is the only U.S. airline that currently offers all passengers unlimited free Wi-Fi, even on transatlantic flights from the East Coast to London.

As a very close partner with JetBlue through the Northeast Alliance, it would make sense for American Airlines to mirror this offering in the same way that the 2 airlines recently increased their reciprocal elite benefits.

Final Thoughts

Whether you like to completely disconnect when flying or you’re glued to your phone or laptop 24/7, it’s nice to know that American Airlines will be offering free connectivity on the majority of its short-haul, domestic fleet.

Let’s hope that American Airlines is able to gather enough data from the temporary rollout that it comes to the conclusion to make free inflight Wi-Fi permanently free for all on all of its routes, whether domestic or international, short- or long-haul.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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