Earlier this summer, Delta became the first and only U.S. carrier to offer all inflight entertainment for free. It’s still the first, but no longer the only.
Beginning this month, American Airlines coach customers will be able to distract themselves with free premium TV shows (think HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), movies, music, and games on any domestic flight that features seatback entertainment or WiFi.
On aircraft with inflight entertainment systems, the programming streams directly to the seatback monitor. Where only WiFi is available, passengers will have to download the American mobile app in order to stream content to their own mobile devices.
With so little good news for the great majority of travelers, who must contend with the discomfort of packed coach-class cabins, this is a heartening trend. It’s no substitute for more spacious seating, but it’s better than nothing.
Reader Reality Check
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.