Streaming movies and TV shows are coming to some American Airlines transcontinental flights in the U.S. — and you can play back the entertainment on your laptop even after you landed.
In partnership with Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment provider Gogo, American Airlines officially introduced the initial phase of its Entertainment on Demand product on its fleet of 15 Boeing 767-200 aircraft.
The airline had been testing the service since May, but received FAA approval in August.
Gogo, which calls the service Gogo Vision and will be marketing it to other airlines, streams the movies and TV shows from an onboard server to passengers’ Wi-Fi-enabled laptops during the flight.
On American Airlines flights, primarily on routes from JFK to Los Angeles and JFK to San Francisco, passengers pay an introductory price of $3.99 per movie and $0.99 per TV show. And, you don’t need to purchase inflight Wi-Fi service to view the entertainment.
On American Airlines, you can select the Entertainment on Demand banner on the Wi-Fi homepage, pick your show, log-in, supply your credit card details and then rent the movie or TV show.
The movies will be accessible on your laptop and in your browser for 24 hours and the TV shows for 72 hours so you can view them on the flight and after you land.
A spokeswoman for Gogo says the streaming video service currently works with Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and is expected to be rendered compatible with “all consumer tablets” by the first quarter of 2012.
And, if the FAA grants permission, American Airlines plans to expand the service to all of its Wi-Fi-enabled flights before the end of the year.
Here’s an American Airlines video explaining the new service:
American Airlines says it is the first North American carrier to provide in-flight streaming video service.