WOW: United Airlines Offers Free DIRECTV

United Airlines 737-800 Economy Plus
United Airlines 737-800

Effective immediately, United Airlines will offer over 100 free channels of live television on 200+ Boeing 737 aircraft. The airline has long had seatback entertainment on the 737s. Passengers in first class had complimentary access to the movies and live television, while economy passengers were charged a fee for live television. United will also continue to offer personal device entertainment which gives customers hundreds of complimentary movies and television shows. The personal device entertainment can only be viewed through the United mobile app.

United Airlines 737-800 First Class Houston to San Jose
Small Inflight Entertainment Screen

Remember: DIRECTV is only available in the continental United States.

United’s Chief Customer Officer, Toby Enqvist, said the following, “Offering free entertainment, whether it’s on seat back TV or on personal devices, is one example of how we are placing our customers at the heart of what we do and helping them to relax and enjoy their flights.”

AT&T Business Chief Product Officer, Roman Pacewicz, added, “Whether they want to tune into their favorite primetime show or their favorite sports team, United customers won’t miss a moment with free DIRECTV programming.”

Final Word

While this is a long time overdue, I think offering live television to all customers is a huge step to improve the inflight experience. I cannot help but wonder if anything will be affected because of the free television. Like, will this decrease the price of a first class fare or raise the price of an economy fare? Time will tell, this is only the first day of free live television.

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