In another push towards product improvement, United Airlines is adding GoGo wi-fi and live streaming entertainment aboard its large regional jet fleet. According to United, they expect their first wi-fi enabled RJ to fly later this year. The airline will equip its CRJ-700, E-170, and E-175 fleets with the new options. Early next year, they expect to add the live streaming capability.

More from the press release – “The launch of regional jet Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment is United’s latest investment in its customers’ in-flight connectivity. The airline also offers:

  • More than 340 aircraft with Wi-Fi, including nearly two-thirds of its mainline domestic fleet, with plans to install Wi-Fi on the entire mainline fleet by mid-2015; and
  • More than 180 mainline aircraft with personal device entertainment, including all Boeing 747s and Airbus aircraft and nine Boeing 777s that primarily fly between the continental U.S. and Hawaii. United plans to offer personal device entertainment on more than 200 mainline aircraft by the end of this year.

MJ’s Take

It’s good to see United stepping up the game across the board. This makes them more competitive with Delta, and I expect American will expand wi-fi to it’s large regional fleet at some point as US Airways had already done with its larger EMB 17X fleet. Shockingly enough, we may have United to thank (and some constructive criticism from customers) for American’s tweaks to its first class meal policies since United recently announced some positive developments in that regard. Now, if they can just get wi-fi installed and working consistently across their mainline fleet. I’ve wondered from time to time if we might see more service improvements in an era of fewer pricing wars? Aside from squeezing so many seats into the airplanes, it seems like airlines are making some amenity improvements like wi-fi, entertainment, and even food. We can hope.

-MJ, October 15, 2014