American Adds Apple Music Onboard Select Domestic Flights


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A little earlier I wrote about United Airlines announcing the addition of live TV to over 200 of its aircraft and now we have American Airlines announcing that it will soon be offering access to Apple Music on select domestic flights.

From Friday 1 February 2019 all American Airlines aircraft equipped with Viasat satellite wi-fi will offer passengers access to Apple Music and over 50 million songs, playlists and music videos.

To get access to Apple Music passengers will need to have their own wi-fi equipped devices capable of accessing Apple Music and will be able to connect to the aircraft’s wi-fi free of charge before logging in to their Apple Music accounts.

Passengers who don’t have an Apple Music account will also be able to connect to the aircraft’s wi-fi free of charge and sign up for 3 months of free Apple Music access.

Apple Music is currently available on the following devices/platforms that passengers are likely to bring onboard a flight:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Apple Watch
  • Mac laptops
  • PC laptops
  • Android

Based on American Airlines’ own figures ~384 aircraft are currently fitted with Viasat (out 904 aircraft) but the plan is for all legacy American Airlines aircraft to eventually be fitted with this technology.

Bottom Line

If you’re a domestic flyer, like the Apple universe (or, at the very least, Apple Music) and are fortunate enough to board an aircraft with Viasat wi-fi then this should be a nice upgrade for your flight – for everyone else this won’t be very important at all…and it’s worth bearing in mind that this is a service for domestic flights only.

The problem American Airlines has right now is that it offers such a varying selection of amenities/options across its fleet it’s hard to know what to expect from one flight to another.

The airline currently offers four different wi-fi services (2 from GoGo, one from Viasat and one from Panasonic), it offers aircraft with seat back entertainment and aircraft without, aircraft with power at all seats and aircraft with no power at all (in Economy) and all of this leads to a very confused flying public.

I think it’s great that American has gone out there and done a deal with Apple to offer Apple Music as an option onboard and, as an Apple Music subscriber myself, I can see this helping me relax during a flight (and its great that it won’t require a paid wi-fi subscription)…but this isn’t what I (or a lot of people) really want.

What I believe a lot of people (most people?) really want is a uniform, consistent offering onboard so that we don’t have to turn to our crystal balls in an attempt to figure out what to expect on our next domestic flight.

Until American Airlines delivers on that rather simple request everything else is not much more than window dressing.