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Southwest Airlines announced today that passengers can access in-flight Wi-Fi during all phases of flight. The carrier is also the last major U.S. carrier to confirm today that flyers can use their mobile devices during takeoff and landing.
The news means that business travelers can start answering emails, uninterrupted, from the moment they sit down. Bulky laptops and devices larger than a tablet must still be stowed during taxi, takeoff, and landing. And mobile devices must be kept in “airplane mode” throughout the flight.
An announcement worth the wait: Customers can now stay connected from gate to gate! More details here: http://t.co/re13lg9wxn
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) November 20, 2013
Gogo spokesperson Steve Nolan recently said that Gogo’s 10,000-feet limitations won’t be changing anytime soon.
United is transitioning to satellite-based Wi-Fi on international flights and JetBlue is expected to start installing satellite-based Wi-Fi within a few weeks so these two airlines could potentially join Southwest with gate-to-gate Wi-Fi capabilities.
The news comes almost one month after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration confirmed it would allow the use of electronic devices at all stages of flight. Airlines had to test their aircraft to ensure there was no interference. JetBlue and Delta were the first to announce gate-to-gate device use.
Southwest customers pays $8 per device for all day use, including stops and connections.