Taking a flight somewhere can be incredibly dull, especially if you can’t doze off for a nap. Being able to email, watch movies, and browse the Internet is a priceless way to make a flight go by faster. American Airlines does offer high-speed WiFi as an add-on amenity.
Though even mediocre WiFi service is quite pricey for what it offers, it’s good to know that existing restrictions on inflight data usage are loosening up as inflight WiFi connectivity and network capacities continue to increase.
Is WiFi Available on American Airlines Flights?
Yes. High-speed WiFi is available for purchase on select American Airlines domestic flights. Your WiFi connection will allow you to check email, surf the web, and easily stream video via services like Hulu, HBO Plus, and Netflix. The connection stays when moving from gate to gate for transferring flights.
Is WiFi Free on American Airlines Flights?
Unfortunately, I’ve found that it is not, though access American Airlines’ aa.com website is always free.
WiFi is available on virtually all routes for as low as $10 USD per device. If you travel American Airlines frequently, consider joining the American Airlines WiFi Subscription Plan ($49.95 monthly) or $59.95 for a monthly 2-device plan.
American Airlines WiFi Subscription Plans are available to AAdvantage® members who have an email address stored in their AAdvantage accounts, as well as a credit card (using a billing address within the United States) stored in their AAdvantage accounts.
Monthly WiFi subscriptions are valid on most domestic American Airlines flights, as well as for flights traveling between the U.S. and Canada, as well as to Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean, where network coverage can be provided.
Note that Panasonic international WiFi coverage does not come with your American Airlines WiFi package.
How to Connect to WiFi on American Airlines Flights
Connecting to your WiFi package on an American Airlines flight is easy.
For your phone or tablet, simply turn on “Airplane Mode” and connect your device to the “AA-inflight” WiFi signal. Open your browser and go to aainflight.com should you happen to not be immediately connected.
For your laptop, you’ll also turn on “Airplane Mode,” and then connect your laptop to the “AA-inflight” WiFi signal. Go to aainflight.com in your browser if not immediately connected.
Your American Airlines WiFi connection continues from gate to gate for transferring flights.
How Much Does WiFi Cost on American Airlines?
Though the American Airlines aa.com website is free, there is a fee for WiFi usage, if you want to check email, stream media, or browse the web.
Inflight WiFi packages start at $10 USD for each device used. If you fly American Airlines a lot (5 or more times monthly) and want to save yourself some money, join the American Airlines WiFi Subscription Plan for $49.95 per month. To use two devices, the monthly fee is $59.95.
These WiFi Subscription Plans can be purchased by AAdvantage members with an email address and a credit card (with a U.S. billing address) stored in their AAdvantage accounts.
American Airlines WiFi subscriptions are usable on virtually all domestic American Airlines flights, including flights between the U.S. and Canada, as well between the U.S. and Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean, where coverage is available.
Your AA WiFi package is not compatible with the Panasonic international WiFi service.
Is It Worth Buying Airplane WiFi?
Inflight WiFi network coverage is the best it’s ever been, though for airlines that charge for WiFi usage, it’s still quite pricey (you’ll pay a premium for even somewhat reliable inflight WiFi).
Can I Use Multiple Devices on American Airlines WiFi?
WiFi usage fees are per device, but you will be able to use multiple devices one at a time with a single account. Monthly 2-device WiFi packages are available for purchase for $59.95 for AAdvantage members.
How good is American Airlines WiFi? Is It Fast Enough to Stream?
American Airlines WiFi operates at a speed of approximately 400 Megabits of bandwidth (according to Gogo, AA’s WiFi provider), and on many American Airlines flights, speeds of up to 130 Megabits per second were reported. Though there is a charge, being able to access inflight WiFi while traveling makes things convenient.
General guidelines recommend internet speeds of 3-10 Megabits per second for standard definition streaming video. With American Airlines WiFi downloading at speeds of ~130 Mbps, you should easily be able to watch movies on services like Hulu, Netflix, and Sling TV.
Can I Watch YouTube on American Airlines WiFi?
To watch YouTube videos, YouTube recommends a speed of at least 20 Mbps (for 4K resolution videos), and then speeds of more like 100 Mbps for download for high res videos, plus unlimited data usage. With American Airlines WiFi downloading at speeds of up to 130 Mbps, you should be able to watch movies on services like Hulu, Netflix, and Sling TV.
How Can I Tell If My American Airlines Flight Has WiFi Availability?
As of December 2018, American Airlines started displaying a high-speed logo on its online booking process for domestic flights, to let travelers know which of their aircraft feature high-speed, satellite-based WiFi (the high-speed logo is different than the standard WiFi logo).
How Can I Watch Movies on the Plane Without the Internet?
Many streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime offer downloadable movies that you can watch any time, any place without an internet connection. There are also movies available for rent or purchase as part of many airlines’ inflight entertainment amenities.
Is American Airlines WiFi Fast Enough to Let You Play Games During Flights?
Most games require around 20 Mbps for online play without lags and delays, so for American Airlines flights that offer WiFi capabilities high enough to support gaming … yes, game away.
Who knows? Maybe at some future point, all airlines will offer free, reliable, high-speed internet coverage, for anywhere in the world you may be traveling. For now, enough convenience is offered for even the high price to make inflight WiFi purchase worth it.