American Airlines partners with Samsung to increase first class entertainment offerings

American Airlines partners with Samsung to increase first class entertainment offerings

Individuals who purchase first class tickets when flying American Airlines will soon have a new inflight entertainment option in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 mobile tablet.

This opportunity for premium fliers is made possible through a new agreement between American Airlines and Samsung Telecommunications America. Although no specific date was announced for the introduction of these first class accessories, company officials say it will be sometime later this year.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1, which will be available to consumers on June 17, is 8.6 millimeters thick and weighs 595 grams, WIRED reports. This makes the mobile device thinner and lighter than Apple's iPad 2. Over one million of the original Galaxy Tabs were sold shortly after their release this past November, according to the news source.

In addition to its lightweight build, the Android 3.1-powered Galaxy Tab features a 10-inch touchscreen, is WIFI-enabled and comes with a variety of applications.

The tablets will replace the personal entertainment devices that are currently in use in American's premium cabins during transcontinental flights. A total of 6,000 Galaxy Tabs will be deployed on routes between Boston and Los Angeles, New York and Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco and Miami and Los Angeles. They will also be available on international flights to Europe and South America.

"Through our agreement with Samsung, American is the first North American airline to offer a branded tablet onboard its aircraft," said Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. "We are working hard to revitalize our fleet and invest wisely in new products and services to modernize and enhance the travel experience. Working with Samsung to outfit our premium cabins with the innovative Galaxy Tab will give our premium customers a modern and innovative in-flight entertainment experience."

The Galaxy Tabs available on American flights will differ from those available to everyday consumers. The devices will be customized by Samsung to include more memory and cater to the airline's inflight entertainment needs.

According to WIRED, many airlines currently provide passengers with touchscreen seat-back displays that allow fliers to purchase film, television and game offerings. However, if travelers have their own iPad, American lets them stream movies during the flight via WIFI. Meanwhile, the news source reports that Alaska Airlines has also started using the portable tablet computers on their flights as replacements for their inflight manuals.

By Mary D'Angelo

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