Air Canada Now Offering Complimentary Apple TV+ In-Flight — Plus Two Free Months on the Ground

Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner Credit: John McArthur
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Canada’s biggest airline has just become the second in the world to sign up for Apple TV+ on behalf of its passengers, with Air Canada announcing that it will begin offering exclusive Apple TV+ programming via its in-flight entertainment system.

Air Canada is kicking off the initiative today, rounding out the 2,500+ hours of movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music available to passengers with Apple TV+ original programs such as Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, Severance, and Foundation — all at no extra charge and without an Apple subscription.

With this latest move, Air Canada joins American Airlines as the only other air carrier to offer in-flight Apple TV+ programming. However, it’s a natural expansion for an airline that’s been recognized for five years running by Global Traveler as the Best Airline or Onboard Entertainment, and by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) with the Passenger Choice Award for Best Entertainment in North America.

The addition of Apple TV+ brings the total available content library to 420+ movies, 1,000+ TV episodes, and 130+ music albums. The airline also recently announced a collaboration with Mattel to bring a selection of popular kids’ shorts to its aircraft. Beyond entertainment, Air Canada also partnered with Bell in May to offer free messaging for Aeroplan members on Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft with support for iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more. The airline also offers live Canadian TV on board its flights, which provides access to global sporting events in real-time and live news.

“At Air Canada, we know that inflight entertainment is an important part of our customers’ travel journey, particularly on long-haul flights. We continually evaluate opportunities to expand our entertainment and introduce exclusive, current content that our customers will love. We look forward to welcoming customers onboard to catch up on their favourite Apple TV+ shows or discover new hits during their flight,” said John Moody, Managing Director of Product Design at Air Canada. “This new partnership with Apple puts us on track to increase our onboard entertainment content by more than 95 per cent since last year. We look forward to introducing even more entertainment before the end of 2023.”

While Air Canada’s announcement doesn’t specify how the Apple TV+ shows will be made available, it’s most likely that, like American Airlines, the shows will need to be preloaded on the aircraft before takeoff rather than streamed in the air. This means there may be limitations on which shows and movies will be made available; for example, it will be interesting to see if Idris Elba’s Hijack shows up. It’s also unclear how long new episodes will take to arrive.

With the announcement of in-flight Apple TV+, Air Canada told iPhone in Canada that it’s offering a promotion with Apple where new or returning subscribers can get up to two free months of Apple TV+ for free. According to the fine print, the promotional code can be redeemed until August 31, 2024, but is only valid in Canada for new or qualified returning subscribers — where “qualified” likely means those who have not taken advantage of similar promotions in the past. This also only works with straight Apple TV+ subscriptions and cannot be applied against an Apple One bundle.

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