AA Streaming In-flight Movies

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by LAXtraveler, May 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    From today's LA Times online:

    By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
    May 9, 2011


    The days when every passenger in the cabin of a long-haul flight had to watch the same family-friendly movie on an overhead screen are quickly coming to an end.
    American Airlines has announced that it is testing an in-flight video system that allows passengers to wirelessly stream movies and TV shows from an onboard library to their laptop computers and other electronic devices.
    American began testing the system last month on two wide-body jets flying across the country and will expand the testing among customers this summer. If all goes well, American said, it will be the first domestic airline to provide streaming service on all Wi-Fi-enabled planes, starting this fall.
    The Fort Worth-based airline also said it would expand its offering of wireless internet by summer to 382 aircraft from 208 planes.
    Of course, the airline industry offers in-flight entertainment not solely to keep passengers amused but also to generate revenue.
    American Airlines has yet to reveal what it will charge to use the in-flight streaming system, but Bob Herbst, an independent airline consultant, said the revenue from onboard entertainment systems could be huge.
    "If the industry could get just $4 from half the passengers for in-flight entertainment, they would gain another $1 billion in revenues per year," he said.
    Passengers are likely to pay for such entertainment as long as the prices are comparable to what they pay at home, said George Hobica, founder of the travel website Airfarewatchdog.
    "If people are willing to pay for streaming video at home, it's likely they'll do so in flight, and this could be an interesting new profit center for airlines," he said.
    Seattle-based Alaska Airlines last month increased the prices passengers must pay to rent its portable in-flight entertainment system, the digEplayer, to $14 from $12 for flights longer than 4.5 hours. For shorter flights, the airline charges $8, up from $6.
     
  2. DestinationDavid
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    Hey LAXtraveler, thanks for posting! We actually already have a pretty strong post in the forum about this new option from AA. Here's a link if you wanted to look at what has already been discussed: LINK. :)
     
  3. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    Sorry DestinationDavid... I must have missed it before I posted.
     
  4. DestinationDavid
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    No worries it was from a week or two ago and the conversation had died down, it was at the bottom of the page and easy to miss.
     
  5. neuatomic
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    neuatomic Silver Member

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    Anybody else find the opening sentence a little odd, given the fact that most airlines have been using seat-back VOD on at least some of their planes for years and years now? Shouldn't it have said "The days when every passenger in most cabins of a domestic and many international American Airlines flights had to watch the same family-friendly movie on an overhead screen are quickly coming to an end".

    Or better yet shouldn't it have said that American has figured out a way to avoid the big expense of retro-fitting seat-back VOD units into its fleet while simultaneously finding a revenue-enhancement? Frankly I think it's brilliant - IF they keep the price somewhat reasonable. If they think they can charge hotel-room-video-on-demand prices (those prices ought to be dropping soon) then phooey on them and I'll just continue my practice of ripping DVD's and downloading $3.99 rentals from Amazon or i-tunes.
     

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