Southwest Airlines is taking air travel to the next level as they plan to put their passengers online while on air according to a The Points Guy article from May 6. They say,
“Passengers on certain Southwest Airlines flights could be treated to free internet browsing. The Dallas-based carrier is providing free access to full Wi-Fi on 40 aircraft as it tests out a new internet service.
Currently, Southwest — like many airlines — gives passengers free internet access on their devices for the purposes of watching inflight entertainment. If you want to be able to check your email and surf the internet, though, you have to pay $8.
Most travelers agree airline Wi-Fi service has been spotty for years, and Southwest has not been immune to those issues.
The airline told TPG Friday, the tests is conducting is on “next generation” hardware from Anuvu. Southwest is hoping for its internet to reach faster speeds and higher capabilities, and is allowing all customers free access on the 40 aircraft where these tests are taking place.”
But the free WiFi connection won’t be the only upgrade Southwest Airlines is getting as their allocation of $2 billion will also include other amenities according to a CultureMap Dallas article from May 12 which reports,
“In-Seat Power: Southwest plans to install latest-generation onboard USB A and USB C power ports on every seat in the aircraft, with a space-saving system that will not compromise legroom. The airline plans to bring this new convenience and capability onboard 737 MAX aircraft beginning in early 2023.
Bigger bins: Alongside its “Bags Fly Free” policy allowing customers to check two bags for free (weight and size limitations apply), the carrier is making room in the cabin for carryon items with larger overhead bins that also bring easier access to store and retrieve luggage onboard. The larger overhead bins will be on aircraft deliveries beginning early next year.
Online ticketing: New functionality for the carrier’s digital platforms and airport kiosks give Customers the ability to handle common requests and help them move more efficiently from curb to gate. By late summer 2022, Customers will be able to purchase Upgraded Boarding A1-A15 positions (when available) on their mobile devices without standing in line at the airport. Also on the horizon, an ability to add lap child travelers when booking online, and the airline recently added lap child check-in at self-service kiosks. Introducing more self-service options builds on the carrier’s effort to reduce wait times with improved and simplified online change functionality; recent improvements have reduced the need for Customers to call to make flight changes, and subsequently reduced hold times to allow Southwest Representatives more availability for specialized Hospitality and Customer Service.”
Additionally, they will also be expanding their entertainment app where they will increase the number of free movies that can be streamed by their passengers.