American’s New Inflight Wifi Ad Makes A Strong Case To Fly Delta

American has an amusing commercial about how much we’ve come to rely on inflight wifi. And American does a great job with domestic wifi, as Delta does and United does not. In fact the major reason I’ve continued to fly American Airlines is because United’s connectivity is so poor (and because Delta’s route network doesn’t work super well for me in Austin).

This new ad could have just as easily been made by Delta, and there it would have been even more persuasive.

The idea though that if you want to be entertained inflight you fly American misses the mark. They are taking seat back video out of domestic planes while Delta continues to add it. You need seat power to use your own devices, but legacy US Airways Airbus A320s won’t have seat power until after JetBlue has started flying to Europe.

And Delta is working to make wifi free, while American is waiting until Delta makes their move before copying with free wifi. While other airlines offer free inflight messaging, American quietly reneged on their public announcement of free inflight texts.

I’m not sure the case that American Airlines is making is persuasive unless it’s only meant as “don’t fly United.” Put another way, Delta could make this exact same ad. And so could JetBlue, which offers free wifi and introduced live satellite TV two decades ago.

Interestingly the new piece doesn’t contain consistent messaging as part of an overall new branding campaign that’s supposed to be launching soon. And there’s nothing about caring for people on life’s journey.

(HT: One Mile At A Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I disagree on one point, Gary. Delta’s wifi is no where near as good as American’s. The ViaSat on AA is excellent.

  2. Are they bringing back “More room in Coach” as well? Seems like a LOT of room between those rows

    This ad is way too long and seems like it was dreamed up by an Ad Agency Intern – “you know what would be funny, show people without wifi…”

  3. @Gary: chacun a son goute I suppose, but I thought the ad was weak and not really amusing either.
    One day, I hope you will educate us on why you beat on AA so much. What did they do to you? Every major airline is going to screw up really badly if one flies enough.
    I have nothing to say about United, I just avoid them like the plague, but Delta in its own special ways is just as bad as AA on occasion.
    And this wasn’t even clickbait for a card…….

  4. Dying as those seats look way too comfortable to be AA coach lol. Delta wifi works great, ubs and tv and staff was friendly. I got rebook to europe from air canada to AA from dfw to london on a 777 that plane was old, tv screen was broken and no wifi I had my powerbank. Would never fly them and I live in dallas dfw to atl with an hour and a half is fine with me.

  5. The GoT-ish sickness bag puppet show by the dad was pretty funny., followed by the influencer girl. Agree that AA’s lack of seatback entertainment is what makes this ad interesting in the first place.

  6. Wifi is totally over rated on planes. I personally value that at zero. Take a break, disconnect, relax is what I say. Emails can wait as can social media. Give a good in flight entertainment instead.

  7. DL wifi is hit and miss and more miss then hit. AA wifi and entertainment library and live TV is vastly superior to DL. JetBlue needs to offer all these things free or no one would fly them, they are the Eastern Airlines of the 21st century.

    AA will be moving their entire international fleet to Via Sat over the next two years, leaving DL and UA in the dust.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *