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Re: WiFi Tips

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

As I've mentioned earlier, I've long given up on ever having a usable internet connection on Southwest. Promises that improvements were coming have consistently proven disappointing, repeatedly, for several years now. I don't really miss having working internet inflight, except when I've recently flown on another carrier and I realize how it could be. This is one area where Southwest fails compared to almost all other carriers. For business travelers, this is a pain point and a carrier choice differentiator, but I'm sure Southwest knows that. Southwest seems to have prioritized in-flight entertainment (usually works great) over a usable two-way internet connection (almost always abysmal). Whether or not that decision is the right one, it's unfortunately just how it is. 

Re: WiFi Tips

sue_ewig
New Arrival

I think most people would rather spend $12/flight and have consistently good wifi. There are other airlines who have managed to do this well. It's so surprising that Southwest - who is better at everything else - just can't seem to get better at wifi. This is hardly new technology. Why don't you just dump your current vendor and get one who's better?

Re: WiFi Tips

WZiel-SWC
New Arrival

I will admit more recently even the "local" wifi was struggling. Was trying to watch a movie and it was not even able to "keep up" with the movie.  Considering that Southwest only does the wifi "casting" it does suck. I usually have the "backup" of using local movies but as an A-List I do like my wifi to get my Text messages etc which as of late has become very very spotty. 😞

Re: WiFi Tips

MarkHursh
Employee
Employee
Solution

Thanks for providing your feedback on our Inflight Entertainment and WiFi experience.  I do want to apologize that we’re not meeting your expectations with this service. We know how important reliable WiFi is to your overall Inflight Experience and want you to know that we are working hard to enhance the offering.

 

We have made strides over the recent years and are now providing connectivity at speeds nearly seven times what they were just two years ago.  We’re also proud to say we’ve extended coverage to Hawaii and are one of the few airlines offering gate-to-gate connectivity between the islands.  As great as those accomplishments may seem, we do know our current bandwidth will not support the long term needs of our Customers.

 

An important element of improving the Inflight Experience is focusing on equipment reliability. We are flying a fleet of nearly 750 hotspots in the air with onboard servers, multiple modems, antennas, and access points with an extensive ground network connected to multiple satellites over 22,000 miles in the sky.  If an aircraft does not have fully functioning WiFi, our priority is to continue flying the scheduled routes of that aircraft as opposed to pulling the aircraft from service to immediately fix the WiFi, which could negatively impact thousands of Customers who expect their flight to operate as scheduled. But this can mean a less than ideal experience when looking to utilize Inflight Entertainment and WiFi.   Please know that teams from all across Southwest are working to limit that impact as much as possible.  

 

As we continue to work closely with our connectivity vendors to improve bandwidth and speed, we are focused on enhancing our entertainment offerings which help divert Customers from WiFi and reallocate them to services like Free Live TV, Free Movies or Free Messaging which take up little bandwidth or leverage onboard content.   We are also constantly working to optimize the service as we recently rolled out improvements to our portal sign-in feature to make it easier to access the portal, are currently testing Apple Pay to make payments easier, and are also excited to continue to improve our portal and content expeience.

 

Free Music, Free Messaging and Free Movies is great, but the need to ensure Customers remain connected with Inflight Internet is an ongoing effort. Please know that we do hear you and are working on our long term options that best balance an improved experience as well as stay true to our low cost promise so we can continue to offer the Southwest Hospitality that you have come to expect.

 

Thank you so much for your feedback and thank you for flying Southwest!

 

...Posting this while using Southwest WiFi flying 33,000 feet at 520mph somewhere over Indiana...

Mark Hursh

Director of Digital Customer Platforms

Re: WiFi Tips

JasonCampbell
New Arrival

it is now 2021. The Wifi has not gotten any better. If anything it has gotten worse. I was really surprised to hear that the free TV users are diverted somehow, as I have noticed that the WiFi works pretty great until I see a bunch of people watching their free movies. Then the bandwidth on the WiFi goes to crap. I fly SWA on average about 250K miles a year and losing hours of productive work because of crappy Wifi is no longer acceptable. It really shows that SWA doesnt really care about their business fying customers and is more concerned with getting in-frequent flyers as new customers then keeping 10+ years Alist Preferred business customers on their planes. 

 The wifi is so crappy now, the screen shot below shows where I couldn't even register for the Southwest Community because the connection was so slow it wouldn't load the  image. When your own websites won't respond, that should be embarrassing. 

WiFi Tips

SWFlyer007
Rising Star

Yes, I'm going to be the old out-of-touch guy who is just thankful that any internet access is better than none.  Blast away if you want, but it's like the person who I seen irritated on one flight because SWA didn't serve the brand of soft drink they wanted and made a scene of it.  

Re: WiFi Tips

Sms531
New Arrival

When you pay $8 for internet access that doesn’t work, there’s not much to be thankful for.  Had it been free... yeah, I would lower my expectations.  But I feel ripped off since this is apparently an ongoing issue with SWA (years) and they still have the gall to charge unsuspecting passengers like myself $8 for a product that does not deliver.   I have contacted SWA for a refund... we’ll see.  

Re: WiFi Tips

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@Sms531 wrote:

When you pay $8 for internet access that doesn’t work,

 

You should do what what you did - ask for a refund

 

   But I feel ripped off since this is apparently an ongoing issue with SWA (years)

 

Covid came close to killing several airlines. They have more to worry about than the excellence of wifi service.

 

   I have contacted SWA for a refund... we’ll see.  

 

We'll see - what? 



@

 


 

Re: WiFi Tips

Sms531
New Arrival

I don’t understand why you posted those comments to me.  You say I should do what you did...ask for a refund.  I wrote that I was asking for a refund!  You say COVID was a big problem for airlines (obviously)...not my point since I said terrible wifi had been a big problem for SWA for YEARS.  COVID happened last year.  2020.  

Re: WiFi Tips

dfwskier
Top Contributor

My point was that the virus financially stressed all airlines including SW.  So you  shouldn't expect the airline to expend it's scarce resources to fix wifi during these times. It's trying to survive. SW has lost multiple billions  of dollars since the virus' advent.

 

Am I happy  With SW's wifi service? no

 

However I consider the totality of the flight experience in choosing an airline. Doing that, SW wins.

 

If wifi is the most important thing to you, perhaps you should see whether a different airline has better wifi service - discounting everything else.