American Airlines May be Forced To Add Seat Back Video Screens


Delta is ramping up the roll-out of seat back entertainment video screens across its international flights and its domestic fleet. They have a huge 700 aircraft with seat back entertainment screens.

While Delta has been adding these screens, United and American have been building aircraft interiors without these screens, which apparently saves them about a million dollars per aircraft (according to travel expert View From The Wing). You can read about our latest domestic First experience on American here.

On American, you can download their mobile app to watch streamed content, as long as you remember to download the app before you leave the ground.

Scott Kirby, President at United Airlines Holdings Inc. United, appears to be changing his mind about these entertainment systems. According to a number of reports this week, he appears to be backing away from streaming-only domestic flights and may be considering seat back entertainment on aircraft like the Boeing 737 MAX. Perhaps he believes that United is losing passengers to Delta?

If United do start fitting seat back entertainment to their domestic aircraft, American will be forced to reconsider their position and may follow suit.

I am not sure why airlines penny-pinch to quite such an extent. Seat back entertainment remains popular with most passengers. If you are a passenger that doesn’t want to use it, you don’t have to, but these systems offer a clear way of differentiating your inflight experience between airlines. We have compared all three American Airlines in more detail so that you can determine which is best.

If United do start loading these entertainment systems into their domestic fleet and American follow suit, American may well attract customers back from Delta and the huge investment in AA shares made by Doug Parker earlier this year may well have been a clever move.

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