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It Is Official--Wi-Fi Is On The Way!

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Hello everyone!  You probably saw the title of this blog post and thought, “haven't I heard that before?”  True, the road to onboard wi-fi has been a long one, but this week we took a major step that gets us closer to rolling out the system fleetwide.  We ended the equipment "testing" phase and signed an equipment purchase contract with our wi-fi provider, Row 44. That means we now begin the process of getting equipment ordered and aircraft scheduling in place to begin our full fleet installation.

We’ll begin installing the equipment in the second quarter of 2010.  We expect to install equipment on around 15 aircraft per month initially, with the goal of increasing that number to 25 aircraft a month as we ramp up the process.  With this schedule, we estimate that our full fleet of more than 540 planes will be outfitted with wi-fi service by early 2012.

So, on to the next pressing issue… what will it cost to connect?.  We don’t have an answer to that quite yet.  We’re still testing a variety of price points on the four aircraft that currently have wi-fi.  We’ll have a decision on price in the second quarter of 2010—rest assured that, just like our fares, it will be a great value. You can count on it!

We’re excited about this new inflight amenity and we promise it will be well worth the wait! We’ll have more updates along the way, but, in the meantime, keep booking those Southwest flights! Your chances of traveling on a wi-fi plane will increase soon!  (And don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss that you've been surfing the Internet.)  😉

457 Comments
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Thank you for banning VOIP. Can you also request that headphones be used for sound? Charging stations at the gate would be helpful. Installing power in the seats, while nice, would be cost prohibitive. For WiFi, charge a fee of say, $3 for flights of less than 2 hours; $5 over 2 hours, and a maximum of $10 per day. Payable when you buy your tickets, or anytime online up to time of boarding. Leave the poor flight attendants out of it. They're busy enough, and we like them happy and cheerful. I appreciate the $10 early check in. I'm using it while on a vacation where there's no internet. I'm also using it on a return trip from a cruise where it would've cost me $15 for internet access on the ship. I like how families can board after the A group. This gives them preference, but not over the folks who travel the most or are willing to sign on early to get a seat. I like how Southwest is asking passenger opinion on this instead of just imposing the decision. on us. I love Southwest. Thank you!
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One more vote for increasing the ticket price by $0.50 to $1 and making it free. I can see the advertisements now -- Free Bags, Free WiFi, No Change Fees. People hate having to make multiple individual decisions to spend money. It's like a cruise - you pay once, and everything is included; people love that. Free Wifi would be another reason to maintain my loyalty to Southwest even when fares are matched by other airlines. However, if you MUST charge, I love the idea of being able to use your drink coupons for WiFi. Why reward just those to drink alcohol? Throw some LUV my way too!
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I really like the drink coupons in exchange for the WiFi concept. I've have long harped on you individuals in Texas about those useless little coupons I receive in the mail (I do not drink). My complaining has yet to wrought any change – this may be the ideal venue to start…
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One more vote for increasing the ticket price by $0.50 to $1 and making it free. I can see the advertisements now -- Free Bags, Free WiFi, No Change Fees. People hate having to make multiple individual decisions to spend money. It's like a cruise - you pay once, and everything is included; people love that. Free Wifi would be another reason to maintain my loyalty to Southwest even when fares are matched by other airlines. However, if you MUST charge, I love the idea of being able to use your drink coupons for WiFi. Why reward just those to drink alcohol? Throw some LUV my way too!
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I'm opposed to increasing fares across the board so everyone can have "free" WiFi. It's not right that I should pay extra so the jerk next to me (the one who thinks he's the only passenger on the plane - you KNOW who you are!) can annoy me even further by digging his elbows into my personal space while he's typing away on his laptop. If travelers have to pay in flight for the service, they will be less inclined to order it, which means more peace and quiet for those of us who view their travel time as a nice break from work - a chance to relax and recharge before the next meeting. It IS nice to know the service is available if you absolutely need to get online while 30,000 feet in the air. If I had urgent business matters that absolutely couldn't wait until I landed, I would pay for the service. But don't make me pay for it if I'm going to use it. A fair price would be in the $6.99 - 9.99 range.
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Yes!!! I can't wait until this is available. You guys are the best. Please don't change the baggage policies and all the other great things you allow and other airlines DON'T! It's the reason why I try to book on Southwest over any other airline. Too bad y'all don't fly international, I'd fly Southwest to Europe, Asia, S. America, etc. anytime! Cheers to SW, Madeleine
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Great that you will be offering this service! There of course, should be a fee for service, which is reasonable. A flat rate fee, credit card at time of use or the opportunity to pre-pay and get a code when booking would be fine. It is a convenience for internet users, however for those who choose not to use the service, it wouldn't be fair to charge a fee in the ticket price. In any case, I applaud your continuing quest for customer service improvement!
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I think Southwest is the greatest airline in the country. As a frequent flyer that flies Southwest whenever I can, I would gladly pay an annual fee to get free Wi-Fi on the plane and in the terminal. I currently use Boingo in the terminal but i would happly a portion of that fee to SWA if i could get Wi-Fi in the air as well. I also like the idea of getting Wi-Fi instead of free drink coupons since i don't drink when I am working.
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I like the idea of bundling the cost into the ticket price. I know this is having everyone fund the use even though just some will use it. However, it fits the "bags fly free model" in that the bag transfer cost is bundled in the ticket price even though not all passerngers check baggage. I think it would give SWA another marketing advantage over the other carriers who based on their marketing mode will charge for the service.
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WiFi will be great, seems you try to have an edge on the market that no other airline has. How about a flat fee for round trip, an option you click on as you book but not each leg of the trip, that's annoying. Your early bird is that way and it's just one more thing on your list to do. Should be automatic once you choose it. Seems with so many enjoy WiFi a low fee would still make profits and keep the edge you want above the average. Set the pace!!
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Thanks SOUTHWEST for your continued thoughts of making flying nice. I think it is great that you are going to make WIFI available to those who will/need it. I do hope that you will give all of your passengers the OPTION to use it and NOT include it in your ticket/fare prices. You are the most reasonably priced air carrier out there and certainly are appreciated for not trying to nickel and dime your passengers to death when the necessity of flying is needed. I, for one, would prefer the OPTION of paying for WIFI service on flights and hope that you will be able to provide this service at a very reasonable fee.
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Thanks Southwest for offering WIFI........but please make it an OPTION and not add it into your ticket prices. Many of your valued customers are now pleased with your continued consideration of not charging for baggage (within limits) and I think most people will agree......"not all of us need the internet during a flight" and if we feel it necessary for that Internet Fix, then it should be offered at a reasonable fee. It's a passenger's choice if he/she wants to pay for it. A Valued and Concerned SW Customer : )
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Please charge separately for this service. When I need it for a business trip I am happy to pay for it, a flat fee for the flight would be great. When I'm going on vacation with the family I don't need it and don't want to pay for it. Just flew with you guys from SEA to SLC for a ski vacation, thanks so much for keeping bags (especially skis) free.Your competitors were charging the same for the flight and would have hit us hard for baggage fees. The problem with charging for checked bags is that everyone tries to carry on large bags and if the gate people are turning a blind eye (saw this in CA) then the overheads are full halfway through loading. This translates into means delays and grumpy folks who brought the correct size bags. Really liked your general boarding system, everyone was cordial as they loaded and since they weren't worried about stowing their carry-on (see above) there was no need to be pushy. Great flight, thanks again.
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just add a couple of bucks on each fare ....don't nickel and dime us....thanks for the update
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I feel that a charge is necessary for the wifi. I think that $5 to $8 per trip is fare. Will there be a separate charge on a two flight trip? Good question. Keep the fares low and the bags free and you will keep me.
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Keeping fares low is an absolute must to continue to be the leader in this industry. After reading many of the threads posted, we agree with several options people are throwing your way to be considered when it comes to the Wi-Fi availability on board flights. 1) Use a drink coupon instead of paying for the Wi-fi. Many of us DON'T drink on flights - a choice that is certainly acceptable. We often give our drink coupons to people around us who are "celebrating" an occasion. Being that we always have a rental car waiting for us as soon as we reach our destination, we choose to be responsible not only in the air, but on land too. 2) Reward your frequent fliers with comped service for Wi-fi. 3) Allow your Business Select Fliers to have comped Wi-fi service - they already pay more than the rest of us. (Let alone that they turn the receipts in for a company to be reimbursed for sure!) 4) Reward your Southwest Visa Credit Card clients for comped Wi-fi service. 5) If you MUST charge something, make the fees you will charge REASONABLE! I can't understand charging more than $2.00 for Wi-fi. I realize it costs you to install it; but that is not everyone's choice to do so - it is Southwest's. Charging per flight segment could get passengers irate - the last thing any company wants! 6) I hadn't thought about the plugs being available to keep computer batteries/I-pods/DVD players charged...that would be incredibly awesome to have! 7) Please don't allow passengers the capability to "talk" over the Internet! Can you imagine the roar at 30,000 feet with 135 people all trying to talk over the next person????? 8) I truly feel sorry for your flight attendants....it is as if soon they will feel like they are at a cash register working within a retail business with all the charges being assessed these days. Please keep your fares low...the bags free ( a necessity when traveling anywhere!) and your employees happy too! My hubby and I have a travel mantra we live by....."If SW doesn't fly there...we don't go there!" We have broken this only once when my hubby surprised me with a Hawaiian vacation for the big "50"! (And then we flew your code share partner....really!) We want you to begin flight service to Hawaii and Mexico....so we can travel there too. We trust you...and swear by your safety standards. Keep up the great work., and we will be continue to be faithful to only SOUTHWEST!
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I think it should be free and not because you hold a Southwest cc or not.. Me and my family try as much as possible to fly Southwest to avoid baggage fees and you usually preboard people in wheelchairs first and try to give them as much time as possible,but this should be a rule throughout all airports in USA not on select ones and they can decide their rulling. Does that mean Southwest purchased New airplanes with more room and less crowding of seats??? ie small bathrooms which aren't really handicap accessible. Hope it will remain free for all cabins and not special flyers. Keep up the free baggage and handing out free healthy salt free snacks 🙂
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I fly SWA out of StL to SEA, PORT, OAK, MCO, AUStin mostly. If I use a B-berry, there's no need for WiFi. If I bring a laptop, the battery life is sketchy. WiFi is not needed for my business or personal use. So I agree with those who say do not increase fares to pay for WiFi. If I needed WiFi on a flight say from StL to SEA then I would think that $5 to $7 would be appropriate. SWA could offer a package deal for early boarding pass access, one complimentary drink per flight, WiFi, etc. for a flat yearly fee. Thanks for a nice trip this week from StL to MCO and back. The line for checking bags at MCO on Tuesday morning was 150 yards long! This line consisted of Super Bowl attendees, snowbirds, and those down to see the night Shuttle launch for the last time. This coming week is Daytona 500 so it will again be a long wait most likely. Carry on only is recommended if you're in a hurry.
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Ok to have wi-fi, but Do Not Increase the fares in order to accomodate those who want to use comps while flying. Have a standard charge but only for the ones who cannot live without the computer, no matter where they are.
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Onboard Wi-Fi now presents another revenue stream for the airline industry. From my standpoint as an A-List member and frequent flyer, Southwest should consider: a. If a fee is necessary, charging a low one-time fee or annual fee for less frequent flyers. b. Promoting free wi-fi for A-List members (an effective marketing tool to cultivate loyalty). c. Using Rapid Rewards drink coupons for the service if a charge is deemed necessary. It appears that Southwest's "No Baggage Fee" marketing effort has produced the desired results. Promoting Wi-Fi in the same manner would likely generate a similarly positive response. Although Southwest has lagged behind other carriers in providing Wi-Fi, an examination of the competitors pricing strategies and the resulting feedback can be utilized effectively in formulating Southwest's decision. Southwest should continue their policy of distancing themselves from their competitors. Taking a different approach to the add-on pricing culture embraced by other carriers has been a proven winner for Southwest. The pricing approach toward embracing and promoting onboard Wi-Fi should be no different.
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This is not a Plus for me. I can surf the web at either end of my flt. Please don't make this a part of the airfare as I don't need another "Socialistic" tax!
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Wow, you certainly have hit a chord with the WiFI and it sounds beautiful. Included in the price of a ticket would make SWA shine for even those who still think its a cattle call. Not that I want to shove another body in the middle seat. KISS Keep It Simple, please, no pricing no tiers nothing that will make one 'class' of people better than another. SWA is every person's airlines and it needs to stay accessible. DO NOT follow suit of any other airlines way of doing things.
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I think a lot of these suggestions are very good and worth considering Now my "tweaks" 1. Allow the purchase if you aren't a RR member of WIFI coupons/drink coupons for lets say 6 coupons for $10 that should cover all your flights within your ticket/travel range when you purchase your ticket, if you are a RR member then allow free WIFI access with RR number and pin. 2. This is the most important part- No Headphones-No WIFI you will not have WIFI access irregardless of how your accessibility was acquired. Maybe the Hudson News type stores down the concourses should sell inexpensive earbuds. 3. I also noticed where someone mentioned what if the person next to you is viewing something objectionable or something that shouldn't be seen by little eyes. Then at the counter if you have gained access then all passengers should be required to either provide a "privacy screen" or let one be available to rent at the counter at your departing gate up until the A Boarding Group lines up or 15 minutes before departure so that only those looking straight on would be the only one able to see the screen. In other words, just like the earbuds/headphones issue no screen no WIFI. If you don't have one then screen rentals could be an option for say $2 and you turn it in at the end of your flight you could earn say .5 RR credit. Keep the LUV going strong.
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The main problem with raising fares $1 for EVERYBODY is that EVERYBODY doesn't use the wifi. So some pax are gonna pay higher airfare so the guy next to them can surf the web for free? Not everything can be free here at SWA . Most hotels and airlines charge for WI-FI .. We need to increase revenues here at SWA and we need to make money off of the Wi-fi. To me nickle and diming is charging someone for something that historically has always been free... It would be like mcdonalds charging for ketchup packets ,,,,
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Meh, 2012 for full implementation? I'll be sure to check the blog in a year or so. SW is late to the party on this one.
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How about rewarding the business class guys.. so when I buy my business class fare ya throw in the internet Wi-fi fees with it!
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This is so awesome, if I can just get the bus company to do the same thing I can get a lot of work done. You set the bar really high for the other airlines to chase. Thank you Southwest!
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Randall - your same ol' comments don't add anything. Try saying something new rather than "keep the fares low and don't charge for bags, and you'd be happy to pay for wifi." We get the message what you'll pay for already.
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Wi Fi is great on a long plane flight. Glad to hear SW is adding it. I just really hope the price is low or close to free. There is no reason to charge more for Wi Fi for a single day usage than most people pay for a month of internet service. Not all of us who would like to use Wi Fi can put the cost on our business expense accounts. I think the idea of adding a couple dollars to the ticket price and allowing free Wi Fi for anyone who wants it is a good idea. This is no more subsidizing the cost by those who do not use the service than everyone paying the same ticket price even when they do not check bags. Wi Fi for the length of a flight segment in exchange for a single drink coupon sounds acceptable. Oh, and to sws who stated "It would be like mcdonalds charging for ketchup packets ,,,," Well, some of the McDonald's do just to cut down on waste.
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I think Wi-Fi is good and like most, feel that free (or at least the perception of it by adding the cost to the ticket) would be best. What would be better than Wi-Fi and usable by more than just those seeking Internet access is powered seats so that folks with laptops or other devices can power their modern day toys on those long trips. My laptop battery doesn't make the trip from Philly to Reno and reccharging stations at the airports are a joke since you aren't on the ground long enough between flights to fully charge a laptop. Hopefully SWA will add power to their planes along with the Wi-Fi service. After all, Wi-Fi without power to make the laptop work is not really a good deal. And, for those who know how short a life a laptop's battery is, imagine how much shorter that battery life will be once you are using your wireless card in the laptop. Transmiters are a pretty good drain of battery power.
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What about free for Business Select?? Just keep the fares low and I'm sure it will be a HUGE success! We LUV SW!
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What about free for Business Select?? Just keep the fares low and I'm sure it will be a HUGE success! We LUV SWA!
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I also would prefer a one-price approach: bags, peanuts and WiFi all folded in together. Also, a belated thanks for taking the worst part of the hassle out of the open seats policy (a while back) by assigning "position in line" numbers. Despite Jay Leno's occasional jokes at your expense, I still think SW Air is the best in the Airways. Keep up the good work.
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A-List members should be able to receive this service for free. If we are traveling that much on SW that should be a perk of this program.
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I strongly feel ticket prices should NOT go up across the board. Those of us who wish to use wifi on board should be the ones to bear the cost. Myself included. Unfair to those who wouldnt ever wish to use it. Low fares, great service policies ie no penalties for last minute changes, charges for luggage, great schedules, and fun friendly flight attendants are the very heart of SW's success. I agree with the suggestion that payment in advance at the same time the ticket is being purchased would be the easiest way to do it. Options to order and pay once on board sould be provided as well. I have no idea if it would be possible to provide a plug in at every seat to avoid draining our laptop batteries, but it sure would be swell. I LOVE Southwest. I am seeing new destinations opening up and finding less and less need to ever fly other carriers. This is a good thing. Please never change!!!
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On feb 14 I was pleasently surprised to find the wi-fi available on flight on flight 1245 PHX/BWI. I have an Acer Aspire 8" notebook with a six hour battery, so i decided to give it a try. Found the cost to be five dollars, paid on line via credit card. I was able to check my e-mail right away. Could not get Explorer to work for about an hour. The flight attendent recycled the airborne equipment and I also recycled my laptop and it began to work. I am not very savvy on computer quirks but this seems to be a common problem with systems that require you to log on before access to the web is activated. Sending e-mail via web based mail (Mail2web) worked but was a problem with sending via outlook express and my home ISP. Got it also to work after fooling around with the send mail settings. The home page of the system has a flight progress feature, but I find flightaware.com a little more robust, displaying the wx, aviation chart and flight progress. Once I got it to work it was great. I e-mailed my son in St. Louis and exchanged messages in real time as we passed over his house. The flight was just under five hours, so my battery life was fine. As an electrical engineer and private pilot I think in seat power outlets would be too costly to justify. At 100 watts per seat, the load would be about 15 kilowatts, a serious load on the aircraft system. I think a fair price for any flight would be the price of a drink ticket or $4. Until all A/C are modified including the charge in the ticket is not practical.since the odds of getting a plane with a working system will be low for a while and low fares are one (of several) advantages you have over other airlines. My most frequent travel is PHX/BWI and I will use the service on that route but am not likely to use it on flights of under two hours.
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I'll gladly pay a few extra bucks for wifi. Now if you really want to make me happy, give me two more inches of legroom. Jet Blue has you beat in the leg room department. That's enough for me to always fly JB if available. Give me a little more room so I can relax while surfing the net, and I'll be back to SWA on all flights.
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Love you guys at SW! I had the opportunity to test your wifi for free on a flight from Vegas a few months ago, it worked great! I'd love to see it included in the ticket price, at least for business select travelers. And exchanging free drink coupons, or purchase of coupon books, would be equally as well received for discounted fares. This would be one more reason to keep traveling on SW only and continue avoiding those other airlines that still charge for baggage!
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Free would be nice, but raising ticket prices to cover cost affects leisure travelers most. I wouldn't want to pay more for each of my tickets so business travelers and others can use internet for free - travel is expensive enough. Southwest serves many families with small children who will NOT be surfing the net, but they'd have to pay for access with each ticket. A nominal fee for service would probably serve more across the board.
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So here we are at the end of March which I believe is *beyond* early 2010. For a service that's in such demand why delay its rollout? Especially since many of the other carriers have already rolled out their service? Why can the other carriers rollout their service quicker than you can? My guess is the technology approach you chose (satellite) where as everyone else uses terrestrial which is funny since you don't have any overseas flights.
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man...some of you all want the world for no cost! i wouldn't mind a nominal fee, but like the rest of southwest...i expect good value 😃
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As I can not seem to master the art of packing light, I have officially ruled out all other airlines because Southwest does not charge for baggage. Others, like short-flight business travelers who travel light, may not care. Those people may, however, be more likely to switch to Southwest knowing that they can now use WiFi. I'm sure the increase in customers will soon pay for the investment you have made in us 🙂 Thank you!! As I only travel for pleasure, I do not have the luxury of buying a business class ticket (even for a possible drink ticket or free WiFi) nor do I have the opportunity to have anything 'written off'. I work hard so I can have fun and I travel as often as I can. When I find flights that keep my expenses down I am able to travel more often. I already have 2 round trip Southwest flights booked (8 legs) and & I'm hoping to experience WiFi on one of them. While the testing phase may require a small fee to log in (maybe not?), I hope that this little comfort of home will eventually be included in the ticket price, like everything else you do for us. My Luv affair with Southwest continues.... :) (spreading my word to 560+ friends in the Twitterverse)
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You guy are really great but its been my experience when companies starting adding this and that, it starts getting into the basic fare and before you know it you have to charge do get out of hock. Why not stay the way you are for atleast a year or so!!!!!!!! Take care and God Bless John in Phoenix
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OK it's almost June and still no new planes with wifi. I fly every other week and haven't had a wifi flight in 18 months. Can you at least give us a status update as to how it's going? (e.g. how many planes are in service, how many you expect in the coming months?)
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This will be a great benefit to have during flights. I was actually on a flight about a year ago when the testing was taking place and have been waiting for it to roll out ever since. If you're going to charge for the Wifi service add it to the ticket price. Avoid the additional hassle and complaints of the nickle and dime techniques other airlines experience.
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Yesterday I used the Wi-Fi on N910WN from Houston to New Orleans, and it worked well. I worked on my company email. I was disappointed that they charged $5 for such a short flight. It should have cost less. It took about 5 mins typing my name, address, email, ff#, and credit card info to log on. They need to be able to save this info and have a simple login.
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A very loyal customer with over 150 flights a year. Please do no nickel and dime. Southwest is not known for this. Keep wifi free. It is good business sense. Look at Starbucks, their sales are up after they offered free wifi.
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Great Wi-Fi Service, But Where Is It? I tried Southwest's Wi-Fi last September 2009 on a short flight and as an technology professional, I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of service. Not only was the throughput high, the latency was incredibly low and the service never dropped out, even during turns. This is in contrast to Continental Airlines DirectTV service which drops out every time the plane makes a turn (but don't get me wrong, I still love Continental Airlines overall). Southwest's Wi-Fi announcement was made in January 2010 with the promise that installation would begin "in the second quarter of 2010". It's now August, over half a year later, well into the third quarter of 2010, and even though I fly Southwest almost once a week, I have yet to sit on a plane that is equipped with Wi-Fi. I'm no statistician, but I'm willing to bet Wi-Fi isn't equipped on any Southwest plane (except for their first test planes). What happened? I don't mind paying for my own Wi-Fi as I don't expect most people will use it initially. After all, it's not fair to have everyone pay for it when only a handful use it (not to mention, the people using it will be the most well-equipped people anyway). I'll even throw some numbers out: I'd be willing to pay $6 per flight, and perhaps up to $12 for a longer flight. I did some math and figured out Southwest only needs to raise everyone's fares by just $1-$2 to cover the same costs, but I prefer charging "per user". Here's why: If everyone had free Wi-Fi, people would use it just for the sake of using it, and the service would get clogged with senseless activity like games and videos. Wireless is an extremely limited resource -- there simply isn't enough wireless resource on a plane for everyone to watch videos and play games at the same time -- an unfortunate law of physics. If wireless were handed out freely, the overall quality of service would suffer almost instantly, and all Southwest customers would be stuck paying the bill for awful service. On the other hand, if Southwest charged only the passengers who wanted Wi-Fi, they could let the natural forces of supply and demand play itself out -- those who needed it would pay for it. And chances are, Southwest might make a nice profit -- and if they don't, it might only cost the rest of us about $0.50. I am one of those passengers who absolutely craves Wi-Fi. In an airport terminal, I am basically free to perform certain tasks -- I can go shopping, make phone calls, meet with others, and read the news. However, those options are severely limited on a plane. On a plane, it's either SkyMall, talk to the person next to me, or read a magazine. - SkyMall has some nice products, but in these times, I won't buy anything without doing some research first. Plus, I don't get the instant gratification of finishing an order online and receiving a confirmation. Sure, I could take the SkyMall catalog with me and order at home later -- but what fun is that? - Small talk with your neighbor? Call me a grouch, but I don't really enjoy having someone grill me on my career or cram their views down my throat while I'm planning out my day (or reflecting on my day). - Magazines are old news. They have great editorial content, but I want today's news, not last week's and definitely not last month's. These are just awful options, so here's what usually ends up happening: I stare at the seat in front of me and doze off. Sometimes I order a drink, sometimes I read a book, but I am almost never productive. Sure, flying beats driving, but flying still makes my list as one of the most unproductive tasks I perform. If I had to pay $6-$12 (or two drink coupons) to remain productive, I would gladly do it. My main concern is how easy it will be to sign in. Will I need spend 2-3 minutes to enter my name and credit card information on every flight? 2-3 minutes is a long time for a flight where passengers are only allowed to use electronics for 15-20 minutes. If I'm paying $6 for this service, I think Row 44 should be investing some serious resources into saving me 2-3 minutes during a short flight. It would be nice if it simply asked for a login and password, then asked if I was willing to charge my card ending in XXXX (which it remembered), and I went on with life. I think Wi-Fi on a flight will end up being addictive: once I have it, I'll always want it -- on every single flight, long or short. I can already imagine what it might be like to have Wi-Fi stripped away from me: I'd be back to staring at the seat in front of me, dozing off. I'm almost certain flying would be worse than prison if it weren't for the length of term.
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nice thanks thanks for this
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Actually wifi was announced January 2008 with the first 18 months used for testing. I actually flew twice on the test planes and the service was excellent including vpn and voip. Now it's third quarter and I have yet to see an aircraft with a hump on its fuselage this year. In theory there should be over 60 aircraft at this point but I highly doubt there is more than a handful. Again they picked the wrong technology as it's very difficult/expensive to install relative to competition. But it will work great on their overseas flights! If you look through the Row 44 website you can tell this company is faultering when the only other airline to test the technology (Alaska) quickly dropping it in favor of GoGo. It's time for SW to admit its mistake and pick a new vendor that can rollout system wide in a few months instead of a few years.