American Airlines has announced it is providing new in-flight personal entertainment media players that offer free on-demand video and audio options for passengers in its premium-class cabins on transcontinental flights. Additionally, American will begin conducting an entertainment media player test on some of its MD80 aircraft that fly between Los Angeles and Chicago.
The introduction of the media players on transcontinental flights on May 1 is part of American’s plan to invest in the customer experience for passengers flying in the First Class and Business Class cabins and to continue to bolster the airline’s competitive position. Passengers this month will begin seeing the new personal entertainment media players on Boeing 767-200 and 767-300 aircraft flying transcontinental routes between New York and Los Angeles and between New York and San Francisco. In addition, the media players will appear on 767-300 aircraft on the Miami-San Francisco route in June.
“We’ve seen the popularity of personal entertainment media players continue to grow over the last few years, and we brought this same concept onboard our transcontinental flights to continue to improve the overall customer experience,” said Lauri Curtis, Vice President - Onboard Service at American Airlines. “Now customers can have complimentary on-demand access to movies, music and television all in one handheld media player in our First Class and Business Class cabins.”
Transcontinental First Class and Business Class passengers will view programming on media players with seven-inch, touch-screen monitors. Each customer can easily place the portable unit for the best view possible. Customers also receive Bose QuietComfort® 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones to complete their audio or video sound experience while onboard the aircraft. The system offers up to 12 feature films, up to 15 hours of pre-loaded television, news programs and music videos, 50 music CDs, and 14 American Airlines-branded audio channels.
Also beginning on May 1, American will conduct a four-month test using a similar personal entertainment media player on eight MD80 flights that operate daily between Los Angeles and Chicago. The test is scheduled to last until Aug. 31. Passengers flying in First Class will be offered the product for free. Economy Class passengers will be able to rent the media players.
The portable entertainment media players on the MD80 feature a 4.3-inch monitor along with new complimentary high-quality earbud headsets. Passengers will be able to choose up to five feature films, more than three hours of a variety of television programming, up to two hours of the Cartoon Network, music videos, 50 music CDs, and 14 American Airlines-branded audio channels.
“We believe our passengers on the MD80 test will provide us with valuable feedback about the entertainment product’s capabilities and its quality, content and value,” Curtis said. “We’ll use this feedback as we evaluate whether or not to provide these media players - or something similar to them - on the rest of our MD80 fleet in the future.”