American Airlines domestic flights equipped with ViaSat satellite internet will offer free access to Apple Music starting Friday. Apparently American is really just acquiring customers for Apple Music, selling you a three month free trial. Always remember you’re the product, not the customer.
To enjoy Apple Music during flight, customers on Viasat-equipped aircraft can connect to Wi-Fi at no cost and log in with their Apple Music subscription. Customers who don’t already have an Apple Music subscription will be able to connect to Wi-Fi at no cost, sign up onboard and receive free access for three months. Apple Music is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, Apple TV, PC, Android, CarPlay, HomePod, Sonos and Amazon Echo.
A three month trial is, after all, the standard Apple Music offer. You don’t even get a better deal on Apple Music signing up inflight. The only thing really going on here is ‘whitelisting’ — you don’t have to buy internet to get access to this.
American is in the process of rolling out high speed satellite internet across its domestic fleet split between Gogo and ViaSat, with more ViaSat equipment than Gogo equipment. The international fleet has slow Panasonic satellite service. Apple Music whitelisting is on ViaSat-equipped planes only.
- What this means is that the Apple Music streaming service will be offered on Boeing 737s Airbus A321s, and legacy American A319s since those are the planes getting ViaSat internet, many of which already have it.
- In contrast legacy US Airways A319s and A320s get Gogo’s 2Ku satellite internet and will not have this service, and American’s 757s and widebodies will not have this service either.
American has been rolling out live TV across its fleet though streaming movies tend to be older content and don’t match what’s offered through seat back video screens — that American is moving away from. They also walked away from their announced promise of free texting.
I really do value the functional internet American is rolling out quickly across its domestic narrowbody fleet. Here they’re competitive with Delta, and both are legions ahead of United whose internet rarely works in my experience.