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Southwest Airlines Community

What's the Latest with WiFi?

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As you may have heard, the Southwest Airlines WiFi Hotspot continues to pick up speed with more and more WiFi-equipped aircraft ready for take-off! We have over 150 WiFi-enabled planes within the Southwest 737-700 fleet. What you might not have heard is that over the last few months, we’ve been hard at work evolving the product to deliver a highly impactful Inflight Experience for you, our Customers. 

WiFi

We recently enhanced the WiFi portal to make it a more user-friendly interface, with a sleek new design that creatively incorporates the Southwest Spirit.  The newer look and feel allows us to highlight key products and offerings and gives us a better foundation with which to introduce new content in the future. Within the portal, users can enjoy games, shopping, southwest.com, and a flight tracker all free of charge. 

Also, over the past few weeks we have teamed up with Chase to give Customers complimentary WiFi! This offer is made possible to anyone who successfully completes and submits a Rapid Rewards® Chase Visa credit card application while inflight.  The Chase offer is currently live and will run through the first week of March.  Get connect for FREE next time you travel with us on a WiFi-equipped aircraft!

And it gets even better!  We have partnered with MapQuest to evolve our flight tracker for a much more dynamic offering.  We realize the flight tracker is a popular element of the WiFi portal, which signaled an opportunity to make this a robust experience as well. Customers began to see the new flight tracker in December 2011 and it will be on all WiFi-enabled aircraft by mid-late January.

Another exciting technology driven enhancement to mention would be the launch of a ‘WiFi Finder’ on southwest.com/wifi.  This tool allows you to see if your flights have WiFi up to 24 hours before departure. The only information you need to check your flight is a confirmation number, first name and last name.   

Lastly, as a benefit of their tier status, A-List Preferred Members receive complimentary access just by logging in with their Rapid Rewards account information.  Look for the “Connect Free” button on the “Get WiFi” page within the portal.   

Power up those tablets and charge those mobile devices because you’re going to need it on your next WiFi-enabled flight!  

22 Comments
New Arrival
Hey I'm SWA's biggest fan, A list preferred, companion pass status, so I hate to have to share this feedback: Most flights, the wi-fi connection speed is so slow it's almost unusable. I'm inflight now, it's been a 5+ minute chore just to post this comment! No fooling, and I fly Southwest nearly once a week! I thought it was just me, except that when I fly Airtran or recently Delta, I just didn't have any problem. I truly hope something can be done; my experience is uniformly poor.
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Agreed, as the above stated. The wifi on Southwest and just about any airline is slower than dial-up. Instead of worrying about the customer interfaces, and stupid flight tracker. They should have it be a functional speed first.
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Southwest- You are really killing it! Great job and great partnership with MapQuest!
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Ridiculously slow...I'm even more mad that they charge $5 f'n dollars for this service. I'm literally going to get my money back any way I can. It's the principle in this case.
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wifi is extremely slow...even for the money paid, which isn't a lot but I would like to have the option of streaming video.
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Until the Wi-Fi speed gets much faster it is not worth it! To charge for it is not fair, And if the service does not improve I would not use it if it was free. ( fill out a credit app to get it free, I don't think so!!) I do like Southwest and hope they fix the problems and set it up as a free service.
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The SW Wifi is without a doubt the worst I have ever experienced on any airline. Frankly, I think my 300 bps modem back in the day would rival the speeds attained. As with the first commenter, it makes me sad to post this as I fly SW multiple times per week, am A-list preferred with companion pass. It is free for me given my A-list preferred status, but that even feels expensive for such poor speeds. To give you an example, it has taken me over 30 minutes to logon, google this site and post this message. Not kidding.. It took over 5 minutes to load the google page. Please please please do something about this. I would even be willing to pay if the service was half-way usable.
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I do love Southwest Airlines, but I have to agree with nearly everyonehere: the WiFi is pitifully slow. I thought something was wrong with my computer. I can't remember dial-up being this slow.
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this is the worst WIFI on any airline! cannot even open any websites as it just keeps timing out. if they switch gogo on Airtran I will switch airlines
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this is the worst WIFI on any airline! cannot even open any websites as it just keeps timing out. if they switch gogo on Airtran I will switch airlines
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It took over 10 minutes to display the copy of the receipt for the service from my e-mail. Since these complaints go back about 6 months, I am wondering if the satellite base WiFi is just too slow for any practical work. GoGo Inflight is not the fastest, but I can get work done. This was awful! Sorry.
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Inflight now and I'm finding satisfactory browsing speed. Can't seem to find the portal/flight tracker.
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SOUTHWEST PLEASE TAKE NOTE: This is a product failure. It is really hard for me to believe that you even launched the product. I cannot find any positive news about this failed product anywhere. Have I missed something? Did you respond to people? I tried Speedtest.net just out of curiosity - guess what! The connection was so slow the ping failed to register. Really? I have tried the service more than once with zero success. Please address this. Now I have to get my $5 back - AGAIN. Hard to believe you missed the mark with this product. Is there anyone that finds it acceptable?
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Agree completely. I am a Delta 150K per year flier and took a Southwest flight this week and it was HORRID! Delta is 50x better. You woul be better off not even offering the service with this terrible customer experience! When you pay for "Wi-fi" you have come to expect atleast decent speed! Very disappointed!
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I'm a frequent flier on SW - 4 RTs in the last three weeks! The WIFI is slow, but I haven't experienced it as slow as some of the other user above. My chief complaint though... Once I log in and pay, if I close the portal page, I'm our of luck! I can't figure out how to get back to it- that is MADDENING. I wan to go back to the flight-tracker, but the page is gone. Total bummer. I tried to Google to find the portal, but it just takes me to a wifi info page. Total bummer.
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Just flew across country - paid the five dollars but could not get on any sites due to the slow speed. Very discouraging and will likely switch to Virgin or American next flight so I can make best use of time.
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I agree. This is hands down the worst, most latent connection. It takes 5 minutea to load a Google page - awesome. I would never pay for this and only use it (when available) since I get it free.
New Arrival
Yes indeed Southwest Wi-fi is the worst I've ever experienced. On a recent trip from Oakland to Midway, I logged on and tried to do a search only to have the connection first time out, then finally load after a resend after 5minutes. The service is worst than worthless in that you spend time hoping the speed will somehow pick up, to no avail. Southwest, you should consider cancelling the service until such time you can deliver a modicum of speed because having to spend any time let alone money for a lack of service is more damaging to your reputation than not even having the service.
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absolutely terrible. to charge people for this should be a crime. it killed my battery and took the entire flight to load a page. this is horrible. how can they charge $8 for this? ! its embarrassing.
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Here it is 2016 and these problems still haven't been addressed. I normally book long flights on other airlines, just because they have far better internet. Unfortunately today, SW had the flight that I needed so I'm stuck another 5 hours with horrible internet service. What are they using, a dial up connection?
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I'm sorry Randy. I have forwarded your concerns to our Customer Relations Department who will follow-up with you soon.
New Arrival
This string is 4 years old. The technology exists to improve the service so 139 people can watch video simultaneously. Why haven't you and when will you upgrade wifi speed? It's effectively useless now. No one will pay $8 for this.