United Airlines launching free in-flight video service for iOS devices

United Airlines

If you fly with United Airlines then your iPhone or iPad is about to get a whole lot more useful onboard with the news of its new in-flight video service. Rolling out in stages from next month, the service will offer up 150 movies and 200 TV shows that can be streamed through the United iOS application.

Most planes will be equipped with the new system very soon, and we’ll have it installed on most domestic aircraft by the end of 2014. We’ll begin on Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and select 777-200 aircraft, followed by additional fleets. In the end, all United-operated flights will have some form of entertainment.

The videos will be streamed using United's own in-flight wifi but won't require you to purchase any. If you don't have the United app installed on your iPhone or iPad, you'll also be able to do this on the flight before you watch any videos. Additionally, it looks like you'll be able to take advantage using a laptop and a web browser, with Android and "other mobile devices" not being supported initially.

It's an interesting proposition, and we'll be interested to hear from folks who've used it once it starts rolling out. Many of us travel with our iPhones and iPads, and they're certainly better quality displays to watch videos on that traditional headrest monitors.

Are you a frequent United flyer? Does this sound like something you'd like to use while travelling?

Source: United Airlines

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

United Airlines launching free in-flight video service for iOS devices


An enviable goal, but since they are so far behind installing in-flight wifi it may be unrealistic. I flew a good sample of their fleet last week and more of the planes (even the largest) has wifi.

First Southwest, now United. I do really hope that this becomes a trend that eventually filters down to the other major airlines. I fly mostly Delta at work, and would love free streaming TV on long boring flights. The one time I flew Southwest, their TV service worked quite well.

It's a beautiful thing.

Now I know why the new 737 I flew on did not have TV's. I assumed the seats needed to be installed before they were approved for TV's, but now it all makes sense (assuming..).

And, yes, there are outlets on the new 737's they fly. The 800's and 900's.