Passengers aboard American Airlines flights will soon have an in-flight entertainment option that’s not “La La Land, but you fall asleep 20 minutes in and don’t rewind it so now you’ll never really know the plot of that movie”: TikTok, which just became available for free in 30-minute increments.
Beginning on August 2, any American Airlines customers traveling aboard Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft will be able to log in to their TikTok accounts for free by enabling airplane mode, connecting to the “AA-Inflight” signal, and clicking on the TikTok ad that pops up on aainflight.com. Even if you’re not already a TikTok user, you’ll still be able to access and download the app in-flight free of charge (TikTok doesn’t require users to have an account to watch videos).
In a press release, American Airlines said that this and other trials, like its recent foray into offering free in-flight messaging through Facebook Messenger, “help American evaluate offerings to ensure the best experience for customers throughout their journey.”
“Faster Wi-Fi allows us to deliver diverse inflight entertainment options and invest in innovative partnerships with platforms like TikTok,” Clarissa Sebastian, American’s Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products, said in a statement. “Customers play the lead role in helping us better understand what content they want during their inflight experience and TikTok is one of the platforms they love on the ground, and we’re thrilled to work with Viasat to give customers free access to TikTok while they’re in the air as well.”
Since the offering is “promotional” in nature, it’s safe to assume that TikTok won’t become a permanent fixture aboard American Airlines flights just yet. But given how easy it is to kill a few minutes (hours?) perusing the oblivion of TikTok’s endless scroll, it might just be the best in-flight distraction of all time—maybe it’ll stick around longer than we think.