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Southwest Airlines Media Day 2010: WiFi Details (Including Price) Revealed

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In my last WiFi post, I promised that we would reveal the remaining details, including the price, in late October.

Today, I am pleased to announce that, after many months of price tests, Customer surveys, and industry observations, we are revealing a special introductory flat rate of $5! That's right ... for only $5 you can have full access to the Internet from departure to arrival. We plan to stay at a flat rate of $5 for all flight lengths and device types (laptop or handheld) as we continue to add to our growing number of WiFi-enabled aircraft. As of today, we have 32 planes installed with the Row 44 system, and we are adding to that number weekly.



So, how will you know you're on a WiFi plane? During the installation phase, we plan to roll out Customer notification and advance-purchase options. In the shortterm, we will be sending e-mails to Customers scheduled to be on a WiFi plane 24 hours before departure. Once onboard, Customers will be met by our new WiFi signs announcing they are onboard a "Southwest Airlines WiFi Hotspot." And, of course, our wonderful airport Employees and Flight Attendants will be helping us spread the word as well!



Once the Flight Attendants announce it is safe to turn on electronic devices, you simply have to boot up, select "Southwest WiFi" and launch your Internet browser. You will then have access to limited free content including a flight tracker, games, shopping, and all that southwest.com has to offer via the "Southwest Airlines WiFi Hotspot" portal. You can then choose to spend your time exploring the free portal or pay the low introductory $5 to check e-mail, visit Facebook, watch YouTube ... the opportunities are endless! (Please note: VoIP--Voice Over Internet Protocol--is blocked).

At Southwest, we are dedicated to providing the best service at a great value, and WiFi is no exception. We hope to see you onboard one of our WiFi planes soon! For more information about Southwest’s WiFi, visit southwest.com/wifi.

70 Comments
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$4 would have been sweeter. or saltier i mean.
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Link is broken for .com/wifi
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$5 is reasonable. I LUV this airline.
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Nice, right after I paid 7 yesterday. The wifi was really fast, can't wait for it to be on all the fights!
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I LOOOOOVE Southwest. One more reason to continue to support this airline!
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Hi Anon- I just checked our southwest.com/wifi link, and it is working properly. If you try again, you should be able to connect. Laurel
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hey, your link is bad....you missed a "."
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I love the arrival status in the image above... "LAX, 9 hours and 30 minutes". That's the longest haul yet.
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Will you charge $5.00 for each leg of a one-way flight?
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Will that be priced per segment of Itinerary? What happens with stopover or change of planes itinerary?
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How about it being free for a-listers?
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Im so excited.....This is wonderful.
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This is AWESOME news for those of us that fly often and communicate regularly via social media. p.s. I wear my SouthWest avatar from BlogWorld proudly!
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how about it being free for a-listers or business select?
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Personally, I am less interested in the "introductory price" than I am in how long it is in effect, and what the price will be after this promotion is over. Considering that you made us wait this long for the pricing, this is disappointing not getting these details.
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I fly 3 round trips weekly and am wondering if there is an option in the works for folks like me to pay a one time fee. (maybe yearly, or earn access through the rapid rewards program)
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It would be nice if you could pre-register for an account and have your credit card info saved in your account so you don't have to take out and enter in your credit card details every time you want to use the service. I hate having to enter in credit card info in a public place, can lead to identity theft.
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$5 is a great deal, and I love that it will be available on more flights! But I think when you pay $5, and your plan has a stop and your continuing on, you shouldnt have to pay another $5 for example- I flew from BWI with a plane stop in Detroit.. when we continued on to Midway, I had to pay again 😞
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I fly SW a lot...... $5 dollars each flight is not bad, but would like to see possibly a monthly or annual rate for all flights.
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First I get $30.00 flights(each way) to Vegas for my 30th bday and now $5.00 for WiFi!!! It must be my lucky week!! Thank you Southwest for the early birthday gifts!! You guys freaking ROCK and your my #1 airlines!!!
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Jet Blue has FREE wifi
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Glad It's coming. Wish it were here last week.
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Use a drink coupon for internet????? yaya
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I'm hoping there will be WiFi on board the Inaugural Flight from CHS (13MAR11, Flt 0354, CHS-MDW) so I can be an on-board reporter of the festivities. 🐵
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Had the opportunity to try is out last week but upon connecting my laptop hung, hard. Did it atleast four times before i gave up. Upon arrival in LAS, I had no problem with connecting to the free wireless in the LAS terminal so it wasn't my hardware. Call the "support" number. Help by a very nice young lady who had no idea what do do with my call.
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Awesome...just please please please...whatwever you do....please NEVER allow voice calling via wireless on the aircraft. I don't want to listen to everyone's business and personal phone conversations while trying to relax onboard. The day voice services are allowed will be the day I quit flying.
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I've been waiting for this!!! Thanks!
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Thanks for all of the feedback on our WiFi--as we are in the midst of our installation phase, we'll be taking all Customer feedback into consideration. Laurel
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What happens if your itinerary has you making a stop or two along the way? is it going to then be $5 per leg?
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Is the WiFi fast enough to be able to stream a Netflix movie? If so, this.. is.. AWESOME!!!
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Can there be a monthly plan of some sort? 5 dollars is nice if you're on a long flight but to pay 5 and the more once the intro rate is over for a flight that is about an hour isn't really worth it. I manily use SW to fly from SF to So Cal and those flights are under 2 hours. Now
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Will the flat $5 rate provide service from departure to destination even if I have to change planes?
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Would LOVE it if I could use a free drink coupon for Wi-Fi, since I'm not much of a drinker. I also would agree that if you could make it so there is one fee even if you have a stopover or change of aircraft, that would be ideal... Could you set it up for pay once for all day access?
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Likes the idea of coupons for wifi instead of drinks. Please consider that as an option.
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I agree with the idea of accepting drink coupons for Wi-Fi, I had to stop drinking and I have a lot of them to use up!
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I hate the cattle-herding boarding scheme, but the more and more they keep doing things like this, and making it possible to be secured a spot in the A or Pre-A boarding group, the more and more I like flying them. TV's would be my last request - keep up the good work SW! You're doing a great job of changing a hater to a lover!!
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I totally agree with the drink coupon redemption for wifi. I don't drink, and the drink coupons no longer get me anything since Monster energy drinks are not included. This would at least level the playing field! And, I like the idea of having access from departure to final arrival city. So, if I'm flying from Chicago to Seattle, and I stop in Denver on the way, I carry on from Denver to Seattle and continue my access I had from Chicago to Denver. It only makes sense. YAY, Southwest!!
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How about a one time in flight fee, daily use fee, or monthly user fee to cover all aspects of people flying. I wouldn't want to pay per leg of my flights...and I don't fly enough to sign up for a montly user fee, I would do a daily user fee though when I do fly. $5 a day, thats a fiar price considering so many other places have free wi-fi, and the airports charge $10. You would get all of the wi-fi business instead of the airports...think about that one!
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Beats those other airlines by leaps and bounds. Southwest, you are doing things right 🙂
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Thank you. It's about time. $5 is a great deal.
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$5 for each segment? Many Southwest flights aretwo, sometimes three segments?
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I thought SW's selling point was "no fees" no baggage fees, no snack fees, no drink fees. I'm not feeling the wi-fi fee. Most airports have free wi-fi somewhere in the terminal but charge on the plane but SW does not fly international so I can usually hold it for a domestic flight. . . then again, if ya gotta go I guess ya gotta go!
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Virgin America offers WIFI, as well as a power plug for your computer. I'd like to see the same from Southwest on all flights. Can you comment on your disposition on power plugs? Also, satellite internet connections tend to have rather high latency compared to air-to-ground solutions. Does this mean we should expect slower interactive response times and slower TCP/IP throughput from the Row 44 system than what we get on other airlines?
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Please, please PLEASE consider a monthly or yearly unlimited plan! $5 per segment doesn't sound like much until, like me, you fly 4-6 segments per week. That adds up pretty fast! Of course as an A-list customer I wouldn't complain if you gave us free WiFi. 😉
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could i use a drink coupon to pay for wifi? i barely use my drink coupons and would love if i could use it for wifi too!
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I like southwest airlines it is so easy to fly from tampa to newhampshier .
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This is really great, $5.00 is more than a fair price compared to what most charge for "Go-Go" which is a pretty crappy service....SLOOOOOWWWWWW. Now, for an extra $5.00 can we have a seat power plug? That would make it AWESOME because my battery is always dead.
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I saw the sign on my last flight to Seattle and used the WiFi. I thought the speed was decent and used it on my iPhone. I do suggest that Southwest offer this as a free perk for Business Select passengers and $5 for regular tickets. Also a system that recognizes the device and can automatic bill would be great, digging out a CC after take off and trying to get the info in and get online takes a few.
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Hi everyone, I've seen some questions posted here on the $5 intro rate, and it is based on departure to arrival. The $5 intro rate you pay for WiFi will be good from takeoff to landing, which might not necessarily last until your destination if your itinerary includes a stop or change of planes. Laurel
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I agree that $5 is a good price BUT what if I have to change planes??? Why can't it be good for the day? Just an idea? Fly from Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa to Houston to Ontario, CA? That would be $15? Just a suggestion?