American Airlines to Stream Video in-flight, Add More Wi-Fi

Posted by at 9:28 am on May 4, 2011

American Airlines said Tuesday that it was testing a new streaming video service for its in-flight Wi-Fi. Rather than use movies stored on the plane, it would pipe movies and TV to users’ own devices from an on-plane collection. Platforms weren’t named but, given the airline’s existing app experience, would likely cover at least Android and iOS devices.

The Aircell-backed system was already being tested on two Boeing 767-200 cross-ocean jets and would be trialled with real customers early into the summer. An on-time FAA approval would have it ready for a full launch in the fall.

Along with the service, the carrier outlined a more straightforward plan to expand its service. It would address one of the most common complaints of in-air Wi-Fi, a lack of access on shorter hops, by adding Wi-Fi on its narrow-body aircraft. The expansion would also include 50 Boeing MD80s and 93 Boeing 757-200s. An upgrade for 737-200 jets was already in progress.

The new in-flight Internet would start rolling out in the summer and run through 2012.

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