American continues to roll out high speed satellite wifi on more of their domestic fleet. As a reminder, they use several providers. Viasat is on many A321s and 737s in the fleet. Gogo 2Ku is on legacy US Airways A320s, 319s and 757s. Older planes scheduled to leave the fleet have Gogo ATG and are not being updated to faster services. This includes the MD-80 and E190 fleets. Finally, the widebody fleet uses panasonic wifi.
Planes with wifi network called gogoinflight have Gogo 2Ku or Air to Ground. Planes with a wifi network called aainflight have either Viasat or Panasonic wifi.
Live TV now on American’s planes equipped with Viasat
In late 2018, the planes equipped with Gogo 2Ku solution started offering a free selection of live TV channels. There have been plans to include this on planes with Viasat service, but I haven’t seen any announcement of this beyond sometime in 2019. With several recent flights on Viasat planes, I’ve noticed that live TV is starting to be rolled out to these planes as well. Oddly, there hasn’t yet been a press release or any other announcement of this. Soft roll out I guess? I’ve used this service on several flights in the last few weeks, so I can confirm this is working.
I first noticed this on a splash screen when connecting to the inflight wifi:
I had thought that this was only available on 2Ku planes, but apparently not. Even the American Way in-flight magazine only refers to Live TV on Airbus planes:
What channels are available?
12 channels from Dish are currently available. A recent flight offered both live TV channels plus a full suite of movies, TV shows and more from the seat mounted in flight entertainment screen. Keep in mind, American is “enhancing” their fleet by removing in seat screens from of their domestic planes. I think this is a terrible idea.
Service seems mostly smooth, though it does drop occasionally. It is still pretty impressive to have live TV while on a plane. Especially for free.