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American Opens Wi-Fi Options for Flyers

American Airlines flyers will have new ways to access the internet mid-flight, ranging from a short connection for watching an ad, to using miles to get wi-fi access.
Cash, miles, or ads: American Airlines wants to make it easier for flyers to connect to the internet while on their flights.


The Fort-Worth based carrier announced a new plan which will soon allow travelers to browse the web via in-flight wi-fi without paying the usual fee.


Ad-Sponsored Wi-Fi Limited to 20 Minutes, Miles Available for All Options

The new internet connection options will be available on domestic narrowbody aircraft outfitted with Viasat technology. The airline is planning to make both available with the launch of a new in-browser portal planning for launch later this year.


Flyers looking for a free short-term connection to the internet will be able to get connected after watching an ad. The connection will only last for 20 minutes, giving just enough time to send a message or check e-mail during flights.


Travelers will soon be able to use their American AAdvantage miles to connect to the internet as well. The airline says the option will be available by the summer travel season on Viasat-equipped aircraft. American has not said how many miles it will cost to connect for either an hour or the whole duration of the flight.


The new internet connectivity options are part of a bigger expansion of American’s wi-fi connectivity rolling out this year. Soon, American says aircraft will offer internet from gate to gate, anchored by their new in-browser entertainment portal.


While the promotion opens the door for more flyers to stay connected to the ground, it falls short of both Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines, which both offer free internet connections to flyers.


Will this new access option improve your American experience? Share your thoughts on the FlyerTalk forums.