Transport Airlines

Southwest Airlines Wi-Fi now operational on more than three-quarters of its planes

@denschaal

Jan 22, 2013 12:46 pm

Skift Take

Southwest is hell-bent on launching some international service in the coming years, and satellite-based Wi-Fi will take it a long way toward that goal.

— Dennis Schaal

Free Report: The State of Student Travel

Southwest Airlines

Passengers on Southwest flights now have a fairly decent chance of finding Wi-Fi onboard, as about 75% of its aircraft have Wi-Fi from Row 44. Southwest Airlines


Southwest Airlines says 400 of its aircraft now have satellite-based Wi-Fi installed, along with live TV entertainment, all from provider Row 44.

The development should put Southwest in good shape as it moves progressively toward adding more over-water flights.

Southwest acquired AirTran in 2011, and the two brands combined had about 694 aircraft at the end of 2012. Roughly 540 of those are from the legacy Southwest brand.

This means Southwest has Row 44 Wi-Fi installed on about 75% of its Southwest-branded aircraft.

AirTran uses Gogo for its Wi-Fi, and Southwest spokesperson Katie McDonald says when an aircraft transfers to Southwest, it is slated to get the Row 44 service installed, although that process is not believed to be under way yet.

“Southwest was the first U.S. carrier to test satellite-delivered broadband Internet access on multiple aircraft,” says Dave Ridley, Southwest’s chief marketing officer. “We have found the strength of satellite service has allowed us to deliver very high bandwidth for Internet users and provide our inflight entertainment via the addition of live television.”

The Row 44 Wi-Fi connectivity on Southwest’s planes includes shopping options, destination services, a real-time flight map, as well as live TV with nine sports and news channels.

Tags: ,

Follow @denschaal

Next Up

More on Skift

What the Fashion Industry Can Teach Tourism About Social Media
Interview: Kayak CEO on Downplaying TV Ads and Direct Bookings
Starwood Betting That High Cost of Mobile Check-Ins Will Be Worth It
Becoming Guest-Centric: Why Hotel Marketing Needs to Change