American Airlines Now Offers Free Live TV On Domestic Flights

Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published. For more details please see the advertising disclosure found at the bottom of every page.

American Airlines has announced that it has switched on free in-flight live TV on 100 of its domestic aircraft and that it plans to roll out the service across its 700+ strong narrow-body fleet during 2019.

American is using DISH as its provider and is offering 12 live channels that passengers can stream on their devices free of charge. here’s the channel listing:

  • Bravo
  • CBS
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • NFL Network
  • Telemundo
  • TNT
  • USA

The airline says that the service is available “from gate to gate” and can be selected from the entertainment choices offered when customers use their devices to log in to American’s in-flight entertainment network.

Here’s what American has had to say:

Free live TV is now available on more than 100 aircraft equipped with Gogo 2Ku high-speed Wi-Fi including all 48 Airbus A320s, which are receiving in-seat power during 2019. It is also available on more than 60 A319s, which have power outlets in every row.

I guess that’s a start.


There are a couple of issues here that need to be addressed.

Firstly, it should be noted that most of American’s domestic fleet doesn’t offer seat-back screens in the main cabin and the new aircraft being introduced don’t have them either. This means that the only people who will be able to make the most of this new service are those who travel with their own devices.

Note: if you’re traveling as a family I suggest investing in a headphone splitter so you don’t all have to have your own devices – that could get expensive.

This is the splitter I use – click to view it on

Secondly, I’m not entirely convinced that this new service will be any good. The wi-fi I’ve experienced on American isn’t always all that stable and it’s not reliably speedy so it will be interesting to see how it holds up when three quarters of the passengers on an aircraft are trying to watch tv.

Still, Viasat wi-fi is considerably better than the wi-fi offered by GoGo and it looks like it will only be the Viasat equipped aircraft which will be offering live TV so that’s one small positive to take away.

Clearly the introduction of live TV will be good news for some passengers who like to keep up with their shows and sporting events when they fly….but I’ll wait to see just how well this works before I pass any further comment – my experience of watching live TV on a number of American’s wide-body aircraft left a lot to be desired so I’m not going to get excited about this news just yet.

Overall I have to confess that I don’t really care about being able to watch live TV on my flights. I bring my own entertainment with me on all my flights (pre-loaded on my devices) and I’d much prefer to see American concentrating on upgrading other aspects of its offering…like offering more leg room and offering reasonably sized lavatories.


  1. HI there,

    Comments appear to be closed on older articles, but I wanted to thank you for your article detailing your last experience with TUMI. I have accumulated many TUMI suitcases, briefcases and backpacks over the years and in fact was just now about to finalize my purchase of an Alpha Brava Aviano Slim Briefcase to match my Alpha 2 roller. That’s when I suddenly recalled thinking that the quality had gone down in recent years. And like you, I had a similarly bad experience a couple years ago when I attempted to have one bag repaired, however that did not stop me from later buying the Alpha 2 (habit, I suppose?). With this in mind, I paused mid-buying process and did a quick google search to see if my doubts were justified, and indeed, they are. Your blog post was one of the more detailed (and therefore quite helpful) accounts I came across. While you may feel your experience was overlooked by TUMI, please know that your blog was in large part responsible for my decision not complete the order after all. I won’t be buying any more TUMI products in the future (this time I mean it!), and thank you for reminding me why.

Comments are closed.