United Airlines to offer free in-flight movies and TV shows to iOS users

United Airlines to offer free in-flight movies and TV shows to iOS users

Summary: I always travel with rented movies and TV shows on my iPad mini and it now looks like free content will be coming soon to iOS owners.

TOPICS: Mobility, iOS, iPad, Tablets

I travel on a plane an average of at least once a month and usually take along a tablet, currently my fantastic iPad Mini with Retina display, to watch movies or TV shows I rented for the trip. Patently Apple reports that United Arilines will be rolling out an iOS 7 service in April where passengers can choose from over 150 movies and 200 TV shows to watch for free during the flight.

United flyers will need to download and install the United Airlines app to their iOS 7 iPhone or iPad prior to boarding the airplane. The LA Times reports that laptop owners may also be able to access this content via a browser plug-in that delivers some content. United Airlines has not yet posted the news on its website or made the updated application available to find out all the service particulars.

Android and other mobile operating system users will not be able to access this content. Hawaiian Airlines offers iPad minis for in-flight entertainment and if this service on United is popular and works well maybe we will see them renting iPads to passengers in the future. An iPad is a much more user-friendly device than the rather clunky in-flight entertainment devices I have used on domestic flights in the US.

Media content is provided to iOS owners through the United app via WiFi, but with the content streaming locally on the plane you should be able to experience a steady video stream.

Topics: Mobility, iOS, iPad, Tablets

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  • Why limit to iOS?

    Why not have just a regular web server that could stream to any device?
    App for iOS + server is more complicated than just web server with streaming.
    I just do not get it. Did Apple pay them to have such limitation?
  • Why no Android?

    Hey United Airline a**es! Check the marketshare of Android vs iOS again please, why limit this to iOS? Unbelievably shortsighted and it's gonna result in 14,1% happy customers and 85,9% unhappy customers. Yeah, 14.1% is iOS market share, yuo may want to let your marketing dept. know that.
    • Android or iOS is not the point

      What if you have laptop with OSX, Linux or Windows? Screen is much bigger but alas it is not iOS.
      I think we should stop this platform nonsense when pretty decent cross platform solutions exist.
      • Very much a plus one...

        Why not just in browser?

        As for all the android boo-hoo ing it will come, relax. It is normal for these things to go to ios first - it's very simple:
        Theyw ill not pay to develop two apps at once
        Market research says that ios users are bigger spenders
        Market research says that bigger spenders are more likely to choose their airline based on services.
        Market research says a higher percentage of android users will just take the cheapest flight regardless.
        So the lauch it on ios, it takes off (**pun**) abd then they look at doing the same for the masses.

        Oh and are apple paying them? No. BUT lets not forget 2 years ago united became apples biggest ipad customer todate when it became the first airline to ditch flight bags for ipads....
        • ...it became the first airline to ditch flight bags for ipads....

          So, obviously, this decision was made so that pilots can catch a movie during the flight, too.
    • For fliers, it is no contest.

      I bet it is 70/30 in iPod's favor.

  • For how much?

    For how much?

    I've got a big suspicion it ain't gonna be free.
    • Sources say free.

      So that sounds cheap to me.
  • The most arrogant and unappealing airline...

    Partnering with the same in the technology business. Arrogance all around, awesome...

    United sucks as and airline as does Apple as a company who produces overpriced tech with less capabilities than their competitors. A perfect combination for the douche bag contingent....
    • Unless you're flying on corporate $$.....

      One cannot afford the prices of UA tickets... What they did to Continental is downright sinful. We USED to be able to get reasonable fares on CO.... So, it really doesn't much matter what OS one may be using ...
  • Virgin Australia have had this for a while now

    Is it built on Lufthansa's inflight WiFi platform?
    If so, should,work on iOS, Android, and any device that can run Silverlight.
    I travel with Surface RT and WP8, so am stuffed.
    • SilverLight is dead tech though.

      It is like doing new work in Flash but even worse.
  • who cares find a flight with working wifi

    have flown more than 100k miles last couple years and have yet to have a united flight with working wifi. Then if they offer this, if it works, the download speed suffers with all the users.
  • More Proof that Mainstream Print Media Is More Accurate than Internet

    Once again, here's an Internet article that leaves out so much that the mainstream print media reported. For example, the service is NOT limited to Apple devices. Windows-based laptops can use it. Android capabilities will be added later this year. And, as the mainstream print media reports, this service won't be free for long. United stated that it intends to discontinue its onflight entertainment. The company equivocates when asked how long the new in-flight service will be free -- so it's very likely that United will charge for it once it's gotten flyers dependent on it (kind of like the use of ATMs that don't belong to your bank (aka "foreign" ATMs) which were free for years until consumers got dependent enough on them that the banks could start charging to use a "foreign" ATM. You can bet that the greedy executives at United (which my wife an I used to fly all the time until we switched to the less-expensive and much more customer-friendly Southwest a few years ago) will charge for this service once flyers become dependent on it. After all, this is a captive audience.
  • Will never fly United again....

    When we were flying from Denver to Salt Lake City, we were told that one of us had to deplane, "due to safety".

    Yes, we are both larger in stature, but we have flown together on the exact same model of plane on other airlines without any issues.

    To top it all off, there were several deadheads on the plane that all said that they could take the next flight out instead. So, they could have easily removed one of them and solved the problem.

    Instead they made one of us deplane and wait for over three hours for the next plane.

    When I contacted them, they did offer credit towards a future flight (the amount they offered won't even bring the tickets down to the price of their competitors, we just got a deal on this flight or we wouldn't have flown them in the first place), but there was never an apology for anything.

    After investigating them further, we have found out that things like kicking anyone outside the norm, such as larger people, those with disabilities, service animals, etc. off flights are a very common occurrence with United. As a result, I will NEVER fly them again, even if they were the cheapest and I make sure to let everyone know what has happened whenever I can.