Whenever I’m bored and open up TikTok, it fills huge portions of my day with lip syncing videos, celebrity gossip and clips of animatronic cats dancing to saxophone music. You’d think that in an airplane, thousands of feet above the ground, we’d finally be able to break free of the clutches of the addictive video-sharing app and focus on, well, anything else.
Nope. Thanks to American Airlines, TikTok is invading flights too.
Passengers traveling with the airline on Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft can now get 30 minutes of access to the app for free, American Airlines said Monday. The promotional offer is available to people who already have the app and those who want to download it in flight. American says the length of the trial will depend on customer response.
Last year, American Airlines launched a trial that gives passengers access to free in-flight Facebook Messenger. (Other airlines, such as Southwest and Delta, also offer free in-flight messaging options). To get access to in-flight TikTok, passengers need to enable airplane mode and connect to the AA-Inflight signal. After they’ve connected, they’ll be redirected to a Wi-Fi portal and can access TikTok for free from there. Those without the app in flight can connect to the portal and download it without paying for Wi-Fi.
“Customers play the lead role in helping us better understand what content they want during their inflight experience and TikTok is one of the platforms they love on the ground,” Clarissa Sebastian, American’s managing director of premium customer experience and onboard products, said in a statement.
Though free TikTok is unlikely to persuade those skeptical of pandemic-era air travel to buy a ticket, 30 minutes on the app does seem like a decent way to make a flight go by more quickly. Just make sure you put the app away when you get to the ground, lest your well-earned island vacation be thwarted by videos of Scarlett Johansson look-alikes or cute posts that borrow a bit from The Little Rascals.