Home Airlines Want To Watch Movies On A Plane? You Need To Have The App

Want To Watch Movies On A Plane? You Need To Have The App

by joeheg

Airlines love to tell us the reason they no longer have seatback entertainment is that people prefer to watch their own personal devices instead of the screens provided by the airline. While that’s a lie that’s a questionable assumption to make, we have to live with the fact that some airlines don’t provide any onboard entertainment and others say they do provide entertainment that you can watch on your own device.

I agree that airlines will never get seatback entertainment right but that doesn’t mean they should stop trying. I’m also sure removing the entertainment screens has nothing to do with the weight and the increased costs involved with having them because we all know that airlines don’t care about trying to save weight on planes however possible. (/sarcasm)

Since you’re on your own, here’s what you need to do before your flight to make sure you can watch the provided entertainment during the flight.

Bring your own

If you’re flying with Allegiant, Spirit or Frontier you’ll need to load up your own devices as there’s no in-flight entertainment or WiFi to keep you occupied. So stock up that iPad, Kindle or laptop with whatever you’ll need to pass the time for your flight. And if you forget, there’s always a bookstore at the airport where you can get some last-minute reading material.

Download the app

If a plane has WiFi, there’s a good chance you’ll have access to some form of free in-flight entertainment. However, you need to be prepared. Don’t wait until sitting down on the plane to try and download the required app. Is it only me who’s never able to get a good cell signal once I get on the plane? Even when we’re still allowed to use phones, once I board the plane, my reception usually goes to zero so even if I wanted to download something, there’s no chance I’d be able to.

Here’s what you need to do for each airline:


Most Alaska flights offer Alaska Beyond streaming service.

Once your flight reaches 10,000 feet, the Gogo wireless network will appear as an available connection. Connect to the Gogo network and launch your browser, and you will be greeted by an introductory screen to either choose the internet or view inflight entertainment content. Click “Entertainment”, select a video and enjoy.


On most flights, you can stream our library of movies, music, TV shows and more to your phone, tablet or laptop. No need to buy WiFi – all you need is the American Airlines app on your phone or tablet.

All entertainment is free to watch everywhere on WiFi-equipped American Airlines flights.

American Airlines app 

How to watch free entertainment

  1. Phone or tablet:

    1. Download the American Airlines app before takeoff
    2. Enable airplane mode and connect to the “AA-Inflight” WiFi signal
    3. If you’re not redirected, open a browser and enter aainflight.com
  2. Laptop:

    1. Connect to the “AA-Inflight” WiFi signal
    2. If you’re not redirected, open a browser and enter aainflight.com


Delta suggests you download the free Gogo Entertainment App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store before you fly (but you can supposedly download it during your flight).



Part of me really wanted to watch this on a Delta flight to see if they edited it at all.



JetBlue offers free WiFi on all flights so you should have no problems keeping yourself occupied. They also offer seatback entertainment with Sirius XM radio, Spotify, DirectTV and Showtime. However, there are only three movies available on the seatback screen.

You do have access to a bunch of content on your own device.


Guests seated in the Main Cabin and Extra Comfort section of our A321neo aircraft can stream inflight entertainment to their mobile devices, tablets or laptops.

Step 1 (Prior to Boarding): Download the Hawaiian Airlines App

Prior to boarding your flight, download the Hawaiian Airlines App to your Apple iOS or Android device.

Step 2: Ensure that both Location Services are ON in device settings, and Location access permission is enabled for Hawaiian Airlines App
  • Apple iOS users: Go to Settings>Privacy, ensure “Location Services” is ON. Within Location Services, find and select Hawaiian Airlines App, then select either “While Using the App” or select “Always”.
    NOTE: Once Location is enabled, an iOS device may need to be fully powered off/on (restarted) before opening the Hawaiian Airlines app.
  • Android users: At the Home screen, swipe down at top of screen to open quick settings and turn on Location icon. Next, go to device Settings > Apps, select the Hawaiian Airlines App, and ensure “App Permissions” is ON.
Step 3 (Once Onboard): Connect to the Network & Browse Content

Switch first to airplane mode in your settings and connect to the WiFi network “HawaiianAirWiFi.”

  • For mobile/tablet device users: Once connected to the network, open the Hawaiian Airlines App, select More, and then select In-Flight Entertainment.
  • For laptop users: Once connected to the network, open a supported browser and visit HawaiianAirlinesWiFi.com to browse content. Please ensure that you have downloaded the plugin when prompted. Requires Adobe Flash Player 24.0 or higher.



You can download the Southwest app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store before you fly

Sun Country

While onboard a Sun Country Airlines flight, you can use your own smartphone, tablet, or laptop to enjoy hours of complimentary entertainment from our library of movies, shows, games, and music through our secure wireless AirFi network. While onboard, you can stream a variety of great entertainment, even though there is no access to the internet. And if you forgot your headphones, they are available for purchase. In addition, as most seats have USB charging ports and our Best seats have standard AC power outlets, you can plug in your smartphone, tablet, or laptop for continuous power.


You can download the United app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store before you fly.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 2.01.16 PM

Of course, for you to stream movies in flight, your Wi-Fi on United needs to be working and there’s no guarantee on that because technology is hard.

Final Thoughts

While many airlines have folded the media players into their own apps, several of them still use a standalone player you need to install so you can watch movies while on a plane. Hopefully, this guide will help you set up your device ahead of time and let you get on board and start watching a movie on a giant flying theater.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


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derek November 23, 2020 - 2:27 pm

I hate downloading an airline app for IFE. I only watch it on one airline that I fly a lot. The battery life of devices is finite. Recharge it too many times and it will break within 3 years. I like seat back entertainment except receiving kicks in the seat by a overactive kid.


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