United operate flights to Chicago, Washington and Newark airports from Dublin and are continuing to grow their presence in Dublin. (Chicago and Washington are seasonal) On these international flights United offers free in-seat entertainment with a selection of movies and tv shows to watch.
On some of their domestic flights they offer DIRECTV which allows you to watch live US TV on the aircraft. I’ve used this service before on United and JetBlue and was very impressed. There are over 100 channels on the United DIRECTV including History, FX, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ESPN. There is something quite novel about watching live sport at 35,000 feet and it is a great way to pass the time. Obviously, I’d prefer it was free as is the case with JetBlue however with United you have to pay unless you are in United First. It costs $5.99 for flights up to 2 hours and $7.99 for flights longer than 2 hours. However, if you prepay you can get a pass for your flight for $4.99 no matter how long the flight is. I know this is only a saving of $3 but I wish I heard about it earlier. You pay online on your credit/debit card and then swipe this same card on the aircraft. It will recognise that there is a credit against the card and you will not be charged again. This fee covers one flight if you are connecting you will need one pass for each flight.
This is only available on United flights operated by select B737 or B757-300 aircraft. United do make it clear when booking what aircraft have DIRECTV when booking. Just look for the logo under Details when searching. There is a chance United will change the aircraft type operating your flight however if this does happen and you end up on a aircraft with no DIRECTV you can apply for a refund online by contacting United Customer Care.
While it is only a small saving of $3 per flight I found it useful. There is something about having as much of the holiday paid for before going that makes it even better. On most United flights over 2 hours or so I’d be paying for DIRECTV if the aircraft is equipped. Its a handy way to pass the time on the aircraft.