Amazon is jumping on board with JetBlue to offer free WiFi and in-flight entertainment to customers at 30,000 feet. Amazon Prime members, who pay $99 a year for the two-day shipping program, will have free unlimited access, whereas non-members will be able to access content for a fee.
Other companies, like Twitter or shopping sites like Gilt Groupe, have experimented with working with airlines or Wi-Fi providers in the past to provide access to their sites for free. But providing access to free video content may be a first. As frequent travelers know, in-flight Wi-Fi can be spotty at best, and high-bandwidth programs, like YouTube, Netflix or Skype, won’t work at all. Imagining dozens of JetBlue customers all streaming at the same time seems impossible.
However, in a statement, the two companies said they worked together to “ensure that the inflight entertainment system met the premium experience expected by customers when streaming movies and TV episodes from Amazon.”
The experience will be available without have to download any software and it will work on all types of devices from phones, laptops and tablets. In addition to video content, Amazon Prime customers will also be able to stream or download music, purchase e-books from the Kindle store or apps and games from the Amazon Appstore. They will also be able to earn JetBlue’s TrueBlue reward points when shopping specific categories on Amazon.
JetBlue said its free broadband internet service, called Fly-Fi, will be available on all of its Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft this year, and on JetBlue’s Embraer E190 aircraft in 2016.