Free TikTok has arrived on some of American Airlines’ flights, according to a press release put out by the company (via CNET). Passengers will be able to use the app for up to 30 minutes for free, which gives them time to watch at least ten of the new, longer TikToks. If you don’t have the app already installed, the airline says you’ll be able to download it for free while in the air.
The move to make TikTok available to travelers comes as airlines are trying to get attention back on flying, after the number of people traveling by air dropped during the pandemic. One of its competitors, United, has also been adding tech upgrades to its fleet, allowing passengers to pre-order in-flight snacks and adding planes that support bluetooth audio for the in-seat screens. American has recently allowed passengers to use Facebook Messenger for free in-flight, giving them at least some connection to the outside world — something that some of its competitors have done for years for it and other messaging apps.
According to the airline’s press release, the promotion is a “trial.” CNET reports that customer response will determine how long the trial will last.
If you’re planning your flights around free TikTok, it’s probably worth keeping in mind that it doesn’t seem like every flight will have access to it. American Airlines specifies that the promotional offer is limited to narrow-body aircraft that have Viasat Wi-Fi systems. A lot of planes in the airline’s fleet seem to count as narrow-body, but planes like the Boeing 787 don’t. American also uses a few Wi-Fi providers for its flights, so even if a flight has Wi-Fi there’s a chance it won’t be from Viasat.
The airline’s press release tells its passengers that they can expect to find a ton of content on the platform, including “travel inspiration” and “career advice.” While it’s hard to imagine many people sitting on a plane watching TikToks about how to make a resumé, spending a half hour looking up short videos about wherever you’re going isn’t actually the worst idea. Let’s just hope that your time isn’t eaten up by bizarre fake ads with Flo Rida songs.