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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

LOVE Southwest overall but it is now one of my last choices when booking flights due to continuous poor or no WI-FI. Im guessing that many frequent business travelers like me who cannot afford the productivity loss are doing the same. Unfortunate...

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

I agree with the comments, your business being very differentiated by your friendly and consistent customer service makes WiFi functionality a must have for folks that travel 80 percent of the time like I do.  

 

Speed of response is critical to my business, and your WiFi works 50 percent of the time (I tracked it over the past quarter because it was becoming an issue).  This is the first time I’m speaking up on it, and I hope your team gets to a more dependable level of service.  

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

I am an A-List Preferred Member and obviously, a huge fan of this airline. I spend a significant amount of time on Southwest airplanes and one of the best benefits of reaching this status is the free inflight WiFi. In theory, it allows me to remain connected to the office even while I'm soaring through the air, enjoying my peanuts. However, my experience with Southwest WiFi has been a tale of two extremes - either fantastic or downright terrible connectivity. Surprisingly, most of my bad experiences accessing the internet have always seemed to be in the new 800-series planes rather than in the older planes. But in all cases, even though internet was not available, or crawling at a snail's pace, the TV seemed to work just fine. My advice to all travelers is even if you see "WiFi On-board", don't automatically EXPECT to be super productive on that important presentation that you saved in your GoogleDrive in the cloud. You might be really disappointed. Download all important materials that you need in-flight to your device before boarding.

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

This is a follow-up to my post from yesterday. I am sitting on seat 6F at 33K feet on my way to Atlanta. And even though you are reading this post. It only took about 25 resets (literally turning my WiFi off/on) to get to this point becuase the system loses connectivity. And please don't say that it's my equipment. I tried it on a Windows laptop, on an iPad, and my neighbor has a MacBook Air, all with similar results. It is very frustrating not being able to use this technology that is so widely advertised. I know what to expect, so I have my backup plan. But I feel bad for those that just paid $8 (like my neighbor in an adjacent seat) to be frustrated with this experience. You have to do better Southwest.

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

Retired Community Manager

Hi @mannyc,

 

Sorry to hear about the bad WiFi connection on your flight, but we appreciate the feedback. We'll keep working to make sure that our Customers are receiving a product that's worth what they're paying. I'm glad to hear that there have been times when your connection was really good - now we've just got to get it to 100%. 

 

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

I appreciate the forum and response Lindsay, but it's not an answer to a problem.  I also am A preferred and your benefit of "free wi-fi" isn't a benefit.

 

Southwest is in the value game, not the free game and you are making 2 major errors 

 

1) assuming ad revenue and "free TV" is value for occasional flyers at the espense of frequent flyers

 

2) assuming a regular flyer sees no value in paid plus ads

 

Your bandwidth is destroyed by free and cheap and ruins the experience for biz travelers.  Facts are, you should charge 2-3 x what you do now, can still be under the competition, and can still show ads because the experience will be lightening fast with 1/2 the people on it.

 

this will make business travelers happy and those that choose to use, happy.  Facts are, if I don't want to pay $25 for my kids to watch a movie, I download to iPad before I travel and problem solved.  If I want convienence, I pay and get quality.  Either way, I found value.

 

for A list, make me pay the $8 vs the 24, I find value, expense it, improve my quality, AND you make more money.

 

in the long run, you should make more money, we prefer the service, and you can afford to continue to upgrade where your competitors are struggling because of the cost of taking flights off line for 2-3 days of work.  Every plane you upgrade hardware wise is further distance from them bandwidth wise.

 

again, your airline is about value not price and your wifi is anything but value.  Change it and we will all happily pay or adapt.  But continue to serve me in a fashion where google can't load and I find you cheap, not valuable.

 

good luck

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

I love love love Southwest!!!!!!........except the wifi! This is second and last time I'll be burned. Take my 16 bucks and use a small portion to help pay off the CEO's Lambo, and the larger portion to towards a raise to the smart employee who can create a better service. Have a great Southwest day! 😍

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

Top Contributor

As I've said before -- Southwest's priority with it's wifi service (and selection of initial provider) appears to be offering a decent In-Cabin Entertainment System. Which it does well. The downside, however, is that the actual two-way internet connectivity is abysmal. Despite stated goals of gaining and keeping business travelers, their actions say otherwise. Business travelers need working wifi, and are used to paying for it. Southwest's bandwidth costs are substantial, but as a "discount" carrier I think they fear increasing the price (to help cover upgrading the bandwidth) even though business travelers are used to paying more for working wifi. So they offer a cheap service that works poorly and intermittently, primarily because they "have to."

 

The addition of the 2nd vendor and move to two separate systems would seem to indicate that they are trying, in some small way, to better things. But like all IT upgrades on Southwest, that new system is being installed slowly... and only on new planes. Meaning you're most likely not going to have it on your flight. And planned upgrades to the older Row 44 systems are costly, and will also be implemented slowly.

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

A-lister here.  The issue for me is, that it seems Southwest is putting more bandwidth for the Free TV vs. allowing business travelers to do actual work.  

 

This anomaly seems to have be more prevalent in the last 6 months vs previous years. 

 

This needs to be addressed, or will take my (and my wife’s for that matter) A-List status somewhere else.  

 

Get it it right guys.

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Re: In-Flight Wi-Fi Disappointments

New Arrival

This is exactly my experience on the last several flights I have taken. The wifi connects, works fine for about 3-4 minutes and then turns off my wifi on my mobile device.  What's up with that?  This just happened on a DAL - ALB flight that was only 30% full but that doesn't seem to matter how full the flight is since it's now turning off my wifi every 3-4 minutes whether the plane is completely full or nearly empty .  Very frustrating!  BTW, I'm an A- lister and a 30+ year IT veteran, so I know how technology is supposed to work .  In other words this isn't "operatir error".  😉