In a continuing partnership between Gogo Wireless and American Airlines, AA announced the launch of an “entertainment on-demand” service onto fifteen Boeing 767-200 aircraft. Consumers will be able to connect to the service on Wi-Fi-enabled laptops during a flight and choose between a selection of more than 100 movies and TV shows updated frequently by the airline. The introductory price of the service is in line with streaming options in the home theater, 99 cents for TV shows and $3.99 for movies. As the movie streams to the laptop, the file is saved for up to 24 hours for movies and 72 hours for television programs.
Consumers can finish watching the movie after landing using the same laptop, assuming the movie has finished loading onto the computer. Pending FAA certification, American Airlines plans to roll out the new technology to the entire fleet. In the short term, transcontinental flights are receiving priority like flights between major airports in New York and California. Gogo Wireless is also working to make this technology compatible with tablets such as the iPad as well as Apple and Android smartphones before the end of the year.
The budget-minded consumer will be happy to know that a purchase of Gogo Wireless Internet service is not required to stream the entertainment content. With Gogo prices starting at $4.95 for 90 minutes of Internet service and ranging up to $12.95 for more than three hours of service, renting content on top of that price could potentially be viewed by the consumer as price gouging. The initial sign-on page includes a link to purchase Internet service as well as a separate link to purchase rentals. After clicking on the link and launching the in-flight browser, the user has the opportunity to watch movie trailers before purchasing a rental with a credit card. The browser also allows the user to sort content by genre, title, length of feature and other categories.