Southwest Airlines is going to charge an introductory flat rate of $5 per customer per flight for its WiFi HOTSPOT in-flight WiFi service, for any device or length of flight.
The airline says it can offer this price point and tailor its customer in-flight WiFi experience becuase of the satellite-based technology provided by Row 44. Southwest Airlines partnered with Row 44 and began testing WiFi on four aircraft in 2009. Today, Southwest has 32 WiFi-enabled planes.
“Southwest tested a number of different pricing points throughout this process and is pleased that we will offer one low fee for this service, making it easy for customers to know what to expect,” says Dave Ridley, Southwest’s vice president marketing and revenue management. “We are excited to have WiFi on our flights. This technology will make our customers’ experience even better.”
Passengers on a WiFi-enabled aircraft will be greeted with a newly designed WiFi HOTSPOT placard onboard the aircraft. When opening the Southwest Airlines WiFi HOTSPOT browser, customers will be taken to a home page that houses content free of charge. Free content includes a flight tracker, games, shopping on Skymall and Home Shopping Network, and access to www.southwest.com.
If they are going to be traveling on a WiFi-enabled aircraft, Southwest customers will receive an e-mail prior to their flights informing them of the fact.
Southwest plans to have 60 WiFi-enabled aircraft by the end of this year and says all 346 of its Boeing 737-700s will be WiFi-enabled by the end of 2012.
To learn more about Southwest Airlines WiFi HOTSPOT service, visit www.southwest.com/wifi.