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may 08 2011

Poll: Would you pay for American's new pay-per-view movies?

(Courtesy AA)

American Airlines is testing a service that streams video content on flights. For a fee, a passenger could watch movies or TV episodes on his or her laptop while in the air, reports USA Today.

A movie is expected to cost about $4 and a TV episode about $2, though prices haven't been finalized yet. You won't have to pay additional fees beyond that. Lucky passengers on two transcontinental American routes will soon be able to test the service.

American says it is adding AC powerports to all of its economy class sections by the end of this year, so that batteries don't drain.

One way of looking at this news is that airlines may start charging for in-flight movies, a former free perk for everyone on long flights. Airlines may also soon expect you to bring your own "screen" via a laptop or tablet to watch a movie or TV show, which could lead to the removal of TVs shared by everyone.

A more positive look at this news is that airlines are improving their on-board entertainment options, giving passengers broader choices. You're more likely to have something entertaining to watch when you can choose from hundreds of choices.

No reporter has test-driven American's service yet, so no one knows if it works well. The movies are stored on a server on a plane and transmitted wirelessly. No air-to-ground connection is needed, except at the beginning of the process, when users need to pay for the movie by credit card over WiFi, reports The Cranky Flier.

What do you think? Would you pay about $4 to for a menu of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows that you could stream onto your own device mid-flight? Please vote in our poll.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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