United expands free entertainment to more jets

April 16, 2018
United entterainment options
Photo: United Airlines

United Airlines has expanded its wi-fi inflight entertainment option for people using their own devices and is now providing some free content on all jets with more than 70 seats.

The US carrier between February and April added the personal device entertainment option to more than 200 aircraft that previously only offered DIRECTV. It is now available on every plane equipped with wi-fi.

This allows customers to use a personal laptop, Apple iOS device or Android device to access a library of complimentary movies and TV shows as well as unique content such as curated music video playlists from VEVO.  They still have the option of buying DIRECTV to view live programming on suitably equipped aircraft.

To make life easier for those using their personal devices, the airline plans to distribute free cardboard phone stands over summer that will allow people to prop up their devices and watch them hands-free.

It is also continuing to install in-seat power outlets so that customers can keep their devices charged.

“Whether it is seatback on-demand, DIRECTV or personal device entertainment, we offer customers hundreds of hours of programming to enjoy during their travels,” United vice president of marketing said Mark Krolick said in a statement.

Read our ratings for United.

“We’re excited to expand our personal device entertainment offering, which has been a popular option amongst many of our customers who tend to bring their own devices when they travel.”

Other initiatives introduced by the airline include a new main menu category on seatback on-demand systems aimed at passengers with disabilities and labeled Accessible Entertainment.

Seatback on-demand is available on United’s 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft and the carrier offers about 20 movies and TV shows that are audio descriptive and more than 50 that include English closed captioning.

Select DIRECTV channels also include closed captioning when the TV station makes it available, the airline said.

Passengers need to download the latest United app to access personal device entertainment on Apple or Android mobile devices. They can see entertainment options on the airline’s website.