Flying on American Airlines just got a little more comfortable for passengers like me, who have a hard time sleeping thanks to those flickering LCD screens embedded into the back of seats on most aircrafts.
American is the first North American airliner to test a new video streaming service for passengers to purchase content from an in-flight library and enjoy on their own Wi-Fi-enabled devices. According to its presser:
"American's inflight Wi-Fi and the new streaming video product are powered by the Aircell air-to-ground system, which uses three small antennas installed outside the aircraft and connects to Aircell's exclusive nationwide mobile broadband network. Pricing for the new streaming video offering will be determined closer to launch and at the completion of customer testing."
Presumably, this would offer passengers a better selection of entertainment content than the two most recently released movies or lame TV show reruns you purposely missed the first time around, and bring airline companies (because others are sure to follow) an additional source of income. Savvy passengers, though, will just bring their preferred entertainment/content preloaded onto their machines. All in all, a win-win for those who would just like to rest during flights. Assuming the test service is problem-free and is approved by the FAA, expect to find this offering on American Wi-Fi-enabled flights starting this Fall.
For those who prefer to be connected and productive in the air, American Airline's entire domestic fleet is currently being wired for Wi-Fi and the AC plug, which means you will be able to stay online and charge your gear while you fly on any American flight within the continental US by 2012. Of course, this convenience will cost you.
No matter how you like to fly, please keep yourself entertained and not your neighbors!
[Image from tecca.com]