While we’re gradually acclimating ourselves to the idea of watching in-flight video on our own devices and schedules, many airlines aren’t quite in step with the idea. Count Southwest Airlines among the more enlightened, then, as its video on-demand system has just finished rolling out to every WiFi-equipped aircraft. If you hop aboard one of the company’s Boeing 737-700 or 737-800 jets, you can pay either $5 per movie or $5 for flat-rate TV access on a WiFi device, whether or not you’re paying for an internet link. About a quarter of Southwest’s vehicles currently go without — we wouldn’t expect VOD on a short hop just yet — but all new aircraft and AirTran overhauls will see the upgrade. We’re mostly content to know that we won’t have to always resort to the biggest airlines to keep ourselves occupied during long-haul expeditions.
Southwest Airlines Launches Movies On Demand
Majority of Fleet Now Equipped With Variety of Inflight Entertainment Options
DALLAS, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) announced today that movies on demand are now available on all WiFi-equipped Southwest aircraft for only $5 per movie, per device. The airline also announced an upgrade to their television package. In 2012, Southwest became the only airline in the world to stream live television directly to Customers’ personal devices. Now, in addition to eight channels of live news and sports, Customers can also select on-demand episodes of popular television shows. The upgraded TV package is $5 a day, per device on WiFi-enabled planes.
“Providing a comprehensive and robust inflight connectivity system for our Customers is paramount,” said Dave Ridley, Southwest Airlines’ Senior Vice President Business Development. “Our Flight Attendants are famous for delivering superb Customer Service, and we’re excited to enhance our onboard entertainment offering and take the Customer Experience to new heights.”
The majority of Southwest Customers now have access to WiFi, movies on demand, and the upgraded television offering. As of February 6, all Southwest Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft were equipped with Row 44 satellite technology that enables these entertainment offerings/services. This milestone represents nearly 75 percent of all Southwest aircraft, which completes the retrofit installations. Moving forward, all new deliveries and AirTran conversions will enter service with Row 44 technology installed.
WiFi service can be purchased for $8 a day, per device including stops and connections. Customers do not need to purchase WiFi in order to access movies or TV.
Accessing the Internet, or watching movies and television is simple. Customers use their WiFi-enabled device onboard any Boeing 737-700 or 737-800 aircraft, connect to “southwestwifi,” and launch their browser to be directed to the inflight entertainment portal. From the portal, Customers are able to select WiFi, movies, or television. The portal also provides free access to a flight tracker, shopping, and games. With Row 44 satellite technology, connectivity continues to work over bodies of water so Customers remain connected all day, no matter where they travel. This video highlights the Inflight connectivity experience.