We flew home to Hawaii this week from the East Coast. With so much time spent in the air and 5,000 miles in each direction, staying entertained was part of the solution. We went from Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines and returned on Alaska Airlines. Generally, you’ll want to check in advance to see what is offered, as you will most likely need to download the airline’s App first. With recent changes to what’s free and is not, here’s the latest.
Hawaiian Airlines Inflight Entertainment
Hawaiian has just made entertainment complimentary on all trans-Pacific flights starting July 1. Wide-body A330 aircraft have seat-back monitors or tablets depending on cabin. Narrow-body A321neo is exclusively streaming inflight entertainment via personal devices using the Hawaiian Airlines App. Previously, only a very limited amount of entertainment was free, while the rest was paid.
Hawaiian offers over 100 hours of movies, and television, music and games, and uniquely, 30% of their content is about Hawaii. Hawaiian does not yet offer Wi-Fi.
Alaska Airlines Inflight Entertainment
Alaska offers free entertainment on all flights with a choice of more than 400 movies, 200 TV shows in their library. We liked the choice of movies this week. Entertainment is available via the GoGo entertainment App, so be sure to get that before flying. Inflight tablets are also offered to rent for $10. Some of their Airbus planes also have seat-back entertainment systems. With only a very small part of their fleet satellite Wi-Fi enabled, we have not yet found it available to and from Hawaii.
Southwest Airlines Inflight Entertainment
Southwest Hawaii flights offer complimentary entertainment streamed to your own mobile devices. There are no seat-back monitors. Movies, Live TV, recorded TV shows, and games are all accessible via the Southwest inflight App or when connected to their inflight Wi-Fi. Messaging is included at no charge. Music is available via iHeartRadio, with thousands of stations and artists.
There is no charge for entertainment or texting, while an all-day Wi-Fi pass will set you back a mere $8. Wi-Fi is available on all flights to and from Hawaii.
Delta Airlines Inflight Entertainment
All entertainment if free. Delta was the first US airlines to make all inflight entertainment free of charge. Passengers in all classes have access to over 1,000 hours of entertainment. It is available via the GoGo entertainment app, or via seat-back screens, depending on aircraft. Be sure to download the App (iTunes or Google Play) before flying. Wi-Fi (paid) and texting (free) is also accessible via the app. on all flights including to and from Hawaii.
American Airlines Inflight Entertainment
All entertainment is free. American Airlines’ inflight entertainment offering features new and classic films, TV shows, and music. Live TV on select aircraft is available from networks including BBC, Bravo, BBC, the Disney Channel and ESPN. Be sure to download the American Airlines app. to access the service. Entertainment is via seat-back or your own device, depending on aircraft. Some Hawaii flights also feature satellite Wi-Fi. The entertainment options are available without regard to whether the plane has Wi-Fi.
United Airlines Inflight Entertainment
United inflight entertainment features recent films and TV shows as well as music. Accessible via their seat-back, or smartphone by downloading the United app. When seat-back is available, there may also be DirectTV and additional movies for $7.99 on flights to/from Hawaii. Visit their private screening website in order to determine what will be available on your flights.
Image courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines.