If you’re an Apple Music subscriber and a frequent flyer, you’ve now got a new reason to book your next flight with American Airlines. The two companies have just announced a partnership, that gives passengers free Wi-Fi access to their Apple Music accounts, on all domestic flights equipped with the Viasat Wi-Fi service.
Ordinarily, passengers on Wi-Fi equipped planes have to pay for any use of that service, making it expensive for something like streaming music, and prohibitive for watching videos. By making the data portion free, Apple Music subscribers no longer need to worry about loading up their phones with their favorite tracks before grabbing their taxi to the airport.
“For most travelers, having music to listen to on the plane is just as important as anything they pack in their suitcases,” Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music said in a press release. “With the addition of Apple Music on American flights, we are excited that customers can now enjoy their music in even more places. Subscribers can stream all their favorite songs and artists in the air, and continue to listen to their personal library offline, giving them everything they need to truly sit back, relax and enjoy their flight.”
The free service begins Friday, February 1, and Apple is offering a quick and easy way to sign up for a free three-month trial of Apple Music if you’re not already a subscriber. This offer may help Apple solidify its domestic lead over rival Spotify: Apple’s subscriber base grew larger than Spotify’s in the U.S. in July. The service now has about half of the Spotify’s subscriber count globally at roughly 40 million members.
Until recently, American Airline’s domestic Wi-Fi offering was a slow, ground-based service provided by Gogo internet. Last year, the company signed an agreement to have Viasat Wi-Fi — a much faster satellite-to-aircraft system — installed on 100 new Airbus A321neo planes it had ordered. Here’s the current state of the airline’s domestic fleet in terms of Viasat Wi-Fi, according to ThePointsGuy.com:
- Airbus A319 (legacy AA aircraft): 23 out of 32 (72 percent)
- Airbus A321: 131 out of 219 complete (60 percent)
- Boeing 737-800: 210 out of 304 complete (69 percent)
- Boeing 737 MAX 8: all 20 have been delivered with ViaSat installed (100 percent)
American Airlines previously stated it plans to have 100 percent of its aircraft upgraded by the end of 2019, so there’s a good chance your next domestic flight will be compatible with free access to Apple Music.