Earlier in the month when American Airlines promoted that they had added live TV to over 100 planes I pointed out that they still hadn’t added free inflight texting the way they had promised one year ago at their Investor and Media Day and which Delta and Alaska already offer.
American had announced free texting right after Delta made their announcement. But American didn’t follow through. Nonetheless merely announcing got them lots of coverage such as USA Today, the Arizona Republic and the Economist to name just a few.
I asked American what was going on, where was the free texting they promised, and a spokesperson tells me,
Right now we’re focusing our investments in other areas such as fast Wi-Fi, power ports and free entertainment including live TV. We’re re-evaluating the cost and benefits of texting options but don’t have a timeline for implementation.
It’s fine to re-evaluate strategy. For instance carry on bags are once again allowed on basic economy fares.
Notably though things like satellite internet and adding power ports to the legacy US Airways ‘basket of deplorables’ fleet are not new initiatives that have come along since American announced their plan to offer free texting. These are just other things American is doing while quietly dropping texting from their plan. They aren’t saying never, but will no longer even say it’s coming.