Alaska Airlines is upping its in-flight entertainment game.
The Seattle-based company this week began rolling out a new service called Beyond Entertainment, which gives travelers flying on Alaska’s 737 aircraft access to movies, TV shows, and other content on their own WiFi-enabled devices.
Once a plane reaches 10,000 feet, customers can watch the digital content on their phone, tablet, or laptop with the Gogo Video Player, which is available from the server on-board or can be downloaded prior to takeoff. Content is updated monthly and will be free until February, when Alaska will charge for premium movies and TV shows starting at $1.99. There will still be 30 hours of short videos available at no charge.
Alaska noted that customers will still be able to rent a portable video player starting at $8 per flight. This FAQ provides more information on Beyond Entertainment — which will be available on almost every 737 plane by April 2015 — including Alaska’s explanation for the difference between “entertainment direct to customer devices and our current Inflight Entertainment Players”:
Our new service is built for customers who prefer to watch content on their own devices. The content is distributed by an onboard streaming server over the WiFi network built into the aircraft, and not dependent on internet connectivity to work. Each title or show is paid for separately when not free. Current Inflight Entertainment Players are rented for an entire flight for one fee, with content built right into the device.
Alaska also announced similar “Beyond” features coming to its flights, including local food and seats that have power outlets. The company noted that every 737-800, -900 and -900ER aircraft will have improved seats with personal power outlets by the end of the month.