The Guide to American Airlines Wi-Fi

American offers Wi-Fi on nearly its entire fleet, but without certain credit cards, it'll cost you at least $10.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Edited by Meg Lee

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For many travelers, staying connected is essential: Whether it's dealing with urgent work requests or staying in touch with friends and family, simply disconnecting for a flight just isn't an option. If you're one of these travelers, the good news is that American Airlines Wi-Fi is ubiquitous and usually pretty speedy — unlike the slow ground-based Wi-Fi of yesteryear.

Best of all, you might be able to get American Airlines Wi-Fi for free through credit card benefits and on a few unique American Airlines "flights." Here's everything you need to know about American Airlines Wi-Fi.

Does American Airlines have Wi-Fi?

American Airlines has invested heavily in installing speedy satellite-based Wi-Fi on its aircraft. In 2019, American even claimed the title of offering "more aircraft with high-speed Wi-Fi than any other airline." Nowadays, flyers can expect to have a Wi-Fi connection on almost every American Airlines flight.

The only exceptions are two types of small Embraer Regional Jets — specifically the ERJ-145 and ERJ-170, which are operated by the airline's American Eagle regional subsidiaries. Other than when flying on these regional jets, you can be sure that your aircraft will be Wi-Fi equipped, whether you're flying to Abilene, Texas or Zurich.

If you want to confirm American Airlines in-flight Wi-Fi on your next trip, check your flight's status. In addition to seeing information like terminals, gates and even baggage claim location, American Airlines lists a Wi-Fi symbol if your flight is Wi-Fi equipped.

How much is Wi-Fi on American Airlines?

The cost of American Airlines Wi-Fi depends roughly on how long your flight is and which Wi-Fi provider is powering your flight. The cost can be as low as $10 per flight — or as much as $35 per flight on some international American Airlines flights.

Frequent American Airlines flyers may want to purchase a monthly pass. An American Airlines Wi-Fi Subscription Plan costs $49.95 per month or $59.95 per month for a 2-device plan.

This pass will let you connect to the Wi-Fi on almost all domestic and short-haul international flights for no additional cost. Just note that you can't use this American Airlines Wi-Fi plan to connect to the Wi-Fi on long-haul international flights — which is when a subscription might save you the most.

All American Airlines passengers can connect to without paying for a Wi-Fi pass. You can use this to check flight status, find your connecting gate or even book additional flights.

Does American Airlines have free Wi-Fi?

American Airlines doesn't offer free Wi-Fi to elite members, premium cabin passengers or credit card holders — at least directly. On certain American Airlines flights, passengers can watch a short advertisement in exchange for 20 or 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, seemingly depending on the advertiser.

Another niche way to get free American Airlines Wi-Fi is to take the American Airlines bus. All travelers on the Landline-operated buses get free Wi-Fi in addition to streaming entertainment. But don't expect much. In NerdWallet tests, this connection only measured a few megabits per second. Also, this bus service is currently only available to three airports from Philadelphia.

How to save on American Airlines Wi-Fi using credit cards

Travelers can get discounted or free American Airlines Wi-Fi by carrying certain American Airlines AAdvantage credit cards or using travel credits on other cards.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® holders get $25 back as a statement credit annually for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases. Meanwhile, AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® holders get $50 back annually as a statement credit for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases.

Small business owners can charge Wi-Fi purchases to the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® to get 25% back on American Airlines Wi-Fi purchases, with no cap on how much you can save.

Travelers can also use airline fee credits or travel credits offered on certain credit cards to offset the cost of a Wi-Fi purchase or monthly pass. For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can charge American Airlines Wi-Fi purchases to their card to utilize the card's $300 annual travel credit.

Cardholders of certain American Express cards can use the airline fee credit to cover American Airlines Wi-Fi purchases. Eligible cards include the following:

Terms apply.

How to connect to American Airlines Wi-Fi

Once you board your American Airlines flight, connect to the Wi-Fi signal. You'll be prompted to agree to the terms and conditions for using the network. Doing so will unlock your ability to use, but you won't be connected to the internet quite yet.

To get connected, browse to and purchase a pass or log into your subscription plan. Remember that you won't be able to use a subscription plan on long-haul international flights, so you won't see that option listed when browsing the connection options.

Many American Airlines flights offer Wi-Fi connection from gate to gate. Whether you're purchasing a full-flight pass or utilizing a subscription, you might as well connect as soon as you can to maximize your purchase.

How American Airlines Wi-Fi compares with other airlines

In our latest analysis on the best onboard entertainment across airlines, American ranked in fifth place, tied with Air Canada, out of 14 airlines.

One factor in the ranking was each airline's Wi-Fi offerings. We considered whether or not it was available, the cost per flight or per day, and if the perk is available for free for certain elite status members or co-branded airline credit cards. In these regards, American is right on par with many of its peers.

If you wish to connect to American Airlines Wi-Fi

American Airlines offers Wi-Fi on almost all of its flights. However, connecting inflight is going to generally cost you between $10 and $35 per American Airlines flight.

You can cut this cost by charging the purchase to certain American Airlines credit cards or a credit card that offers a travel credit. The only way to get truly free American Airlines Wi-Fi is through advertiser promotions or on the American Airlines Landline bus service.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® are no longer available through NerdWallet.

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