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Southwest Airlines Community

WiFi Here and Now

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As you may now know, Southwest bucked the in-flight WiFi trend when it chose Row 44’s satellite solution over the air-to-ground service selected by several of our competitors. Choosing this cutting-edge technology meant a delay in installation but, in doing so, we are in complete control over the Customer Experience and able to provide a robust service at a great value.

Today, we are pleased to announce that we are officially in the process of installing WiFi on our fleet! As of this post, we have 13 activated aircraft and we are adding more aircraft every week. By the end of this year, we plan to have more than 60 WiFi planes crisscrossing the Southwest system!

We will have more exciting WiFi announcements coming in the fourth quarter including pricing and the unveiling of a newly designed portal that all WiFi Customers will be able to access free of charge

 

44 Comments
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Great... Man... hope I'm on one of those planes... let me know... Flying Houston to New Orleans + back this weekend... Houston to San Diego + back Tuesday, Houston to NY Oct 4th... I'd love to get some work done! Looking forward to it... didn't like the air to ground on American... kinda spotty
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Just another reason to love flying SWA!
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So then at this rate estimated completion...2015...yawn
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This is great and hope you can get a way of getting 110w on the plane so we can plug in our laptops also...........
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Free Wi-Fi portal is good, except, all you can do is browse the SW website and look at the map with the little plane of where you are....Delta has had Wi-Fi for a while...4.00 for a short flight, then gets more expensive the more time you're on. I think cross country was $9-$14 which wasn't too bad.
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I thank that is so wonderful that you guys are building WiFi on all of the plans we as customers do need that
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I think this is a great idea in theory. When I was informed on a recent flight (last week) that I was to be flying on a Wi-Fi plane I was very excited (I travel with an iPad). Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find that no announcement was made to the contrary, no one on the flight knew anything about the wi-fi and it wasn't available after all. The email said it would be available for a nominal fee, the gate agent said they thought it was free. I think some education needs to happen with your staff.
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I am flying via Southwest this Saturday - Houston to Boston. Any chance that MY flight has the new WIFI? Thanks!
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Free of charge.. This is why you guys are number 1.... Keep it up!! The only way to fly is southwest!
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Sick! I love you Southwest!
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Wow, how great is this... thanks
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Kudos to Southwest for providing Wi-Fi on more planes. I will have even less reason to look at anyone else when I travel. Make sure you note that the mention of *free* in the posting is only for a portal with very limited access (likely to Southwest.com). Full access to the web will be "a robust service at a great value." I know that SWA will be competitive in pricing, but the cost per plane is pretty significant (>$200K). See http://bit.ly/9mDXBg. So I'd expect a fiscally conservative company like Southwest to recover the costs. I'm not complaining at all. It just seemed a good idea to clarify the "free WiFi on every Southwest flight" expectation.
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YAY! Can't wait for this!!!
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Other airlines post a blog or an icon system to identify if your flight has wifi. It would be helpful if you used this blog or your website to indicate which of the next day's flights will have wifi on them.
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This is great news!!! Is there a list of routes this is available on?
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I would love to use WiFi on my iPad when I fly Southwest, since Southwest is about all I fly. (I've been a Rapid Rewards member since the mid 1980s) I just hope the price isn't more than a couple of bucks. (Maybe follow Apple's download pricing...how about $1.99 an hour?) I've already paid an extra $10 to get a chance to board the plane before all of the overhead bins are full! On a long flight (to BWI, Seattle, Florida or California) I wouldn't mind paying a little more, but with free WiFi both at home and at most of the hotels I stay in, I'd probably skip buying it on a short flight (Tulsa, Dallas, Omaha, etc.) and just wait until I got to my destination, or home.
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is there any way that we could find out which flights have the wifi. and will this be REALLY free?
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Read again, it won't be free. They are still determining the pricing structure.
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I flew on one of your new wifi planes last week from Sacramento to San Diego. Speed and performance was surprisingly good, and at $3 it was a terrific value! 100% impressed!
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In lieu of drink coupons, I would love to see WiFi coupons instead.
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Nice try....but I'll stay with Air Tran! Compairable fares + FREE Wi-Fi in terminal & inflight!
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YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM i see candy coated peanuts 🙂 🙂
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It shouldnt be that harrd to figure out how to use the wifi... Free is awsome and I am also another to agree that is why I fly southwest...
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Cool! Going to Vegas on Oct 6th from Philadelphia. That would be neat to have in our plane. It's a long ride for us.
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This is just another reason for me to only fly with southwest- ❤️ them!!!
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Is this not about the third time that you've announced that you're going to be installing WiFi fleet-wide?
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There seems to be some confusion with your announcement. Access to the 'portal' is free, but I don't think access to the Internet in general is free. Please clarify. Thank you.
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Just give us a monthly or yearly pass that's reasonably priced and once you ramp up installations, I'm in. It'd sure be nice if you could ramp up installs faster. Many of my Alaska Airlines flights have Wifi now...
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always fly southwest - luv the way I am treated and always a great flight staff.....
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Can we use our drink tickets to pay for wi-fi?????? WOuldn’t that be great?!
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So, are you going to let us know what the tail numbers of these planes are so we can keep an eye out for them while we're waiting in the terminal? Or will we just have to be on the lookout for the pods on the top of the fuselage?
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I got to try out your Wi-Fi on a flight from St Louis to Las Vegas almost a year ago and was so spoiled by it. It was almost a mad house as everyone who had laptops jumped up to get their's out. Since then I have not been on a single flight where it has been offered which has been extremely disappointing. Since I fly almost every week, I cannot wait for this to take place.
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that statement means that you can access the SW portal for free but if you want to get on the internet then it will cost money. So, the SW portal lets you basically on the southwest site for free but nothing else... is this correct?
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I was on one of your pilot flights months ago from HOU to MDW. $10 for a 2 hour flight? Outrageously expensive. Did it once for the novelty, but it wasn't worth it. Make it free for A-listers and get it on EVERY plane -- then talk to me.
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LF - sorry about that. We are trying to alert Customers in advance if they are scheduled to be on a WiFi plane but, unfortunately, plane swaps happen. I hope you find yourself on a WiFi plane soon. Estimated completion date for installation is end of 2012. As the number of WiFi-enabled planes increase so will awareness of the product (it's still very new for Employees at SWA too) and the odds of you finding yourself on one. Angela Manager Product Development, Southwest Airlines
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AHHH - the freedom to surf above the country.
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I will be flying Southwest to Chicago on September 23, which has recently been announced as "Mad as hell!" day by a group opposed to absurd and often hidden airline fees. http://www.madashellabouthiddenfees.com/ I definitely NOT mad as hell about Southwest. In fact, I am happy as a lark. Unless there is no other choice, Southwest is the only airline I will fly on domestic travel. Happy as a Lark
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Virgin is free I tried them out last weekend. SFO to las, was great, no check in seating and free dish tv in every seat!
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Let’s see some quick math. 60 planes by the end of the year and they have 13 done so far so that means 47 more plans in about 16 weeks or about 3 per week. As of 5/23/10 there were 541 planes in service so (541 - 13) / 3 = 176 weeks = 3 years 20 weeks = May 2013 for a completion date. By then the competition (Aircell) will have completed a rollout to the next generation of wireless (4G) and will provide greater bandwidth at a significantly lower price. Wireless technology evolves nearly as fast as computer technology. What is cutting edge today will be outdated and need to be replaced about 3 to 4 years from now. Don't get me wrong I really want to have wifi service and when I was a flight once with the service it was great. They just picked the wrong company and the wrong technology. It will work great on overseas flights but I don't think they will be flying overseas anytime soon. I also really question the viability of Row 44 since they lost Alaska Airlines. SW is essentially underwriting the entire company at this point. BTW, did anyone consider the additional fuel costs related to the drag from the fuselage bulge? I'm sure it's only in the several percent range but every little bit counts. Also there must be some affect on rudder control albeit slight.
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love the new surfing - any chance you can go the next step and include the TV signal?
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I tried the WIFI from Oakland to Chicago last week and paid $7. It worked just fine but is not free. I would also like to know which planes will have it in advance.
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The night before last, I was excited to read the email SWA sent alerting me that my upcoming flight was going to be on a WiFi enabled plane ... then I saw the price: $7. Considering that the flight is ~50 minutes from wheels up to wheels down (PHL-MHT), and that you can't use electronic during the first 5-10 minutes nor the last 10-15 minutes, that would leave me about 25-35 minutes of usage time. Assuming that I might get 30 minutes, this is not worth the $7. I would consider paying $7 on a longer flight (~2 hours), but where I'm only going to get 30 minutes of usage - No Thanks! I hope you are still testing the waters on the pricing, or are considering a flat monthly rate for your frequest travelers. Turns out I had to change my flight plans, so I wasn't on the flight, even so, still not sure I would of even tried it for the novelty at that price.
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MCO ----> ISP (Orlando to Long Island) a few days ago $7. Was worth it to keep busy 😉 I'm hoping instead of drink coupons they send wifi coupons lol!
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Finally!!! I only fly SWA and was considering trying another due to the hours and hours spent during the work week not being able to communicate and then getting slammed with hundred's of e-mails on arrival. Great move!!