(From Southwest Airlines) Southwest Airline announced pricing for Southwest Airlines WiFi HOTSPOT. Southwest will offer WiFi onboard its fleet at a special introductory flat rate of $5 per flight for any device or flight length.
The Southwest inflight Internet experience will provide a free service that includes a flight tracker program as well as several games that will be available for passengers. This is probably a move toward providing other entertainment for free to make up for Southwest’s lack of inflight entertainment.
Free content includes a flight tracker, games, shopping on Skymall and Home Shopping Network, and access to www.southwest.com. To read a blog post about WiFi, visit: www.blogsouthwest.com
Surfing the Web will cost $5 per segment for the moment. (The airline is working on technology to allow passengers to sign on for their entire flight should there be intermediate stops. They hope to have the new technology enabled by the end of 2010.)
Southwest is able to offer this price point and tailor the Customer Experience with the satellite-based technology provided by Row 44. The airline partnered with Row 44 and began testing WiFi on four aircraft in 2009. Today, Southwest has 32 WiFi-enabled planes and plans to have 60 planes configured by the end of the year.
“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,” said 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.”
Customers on a WiFi-enabled aircraft will be greeted with the 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.
Customers will receive an e-mail prior to their flight informing them they will be on a WiFi-enabled aircraft. Southwest plans to have 60 WiFi-enabled aircraft by year end and the entire fleet of 737-700s (346 aircraft) enabled by the end of 2012. To learn more about Southwest Airlines WiFi HOTSPOT, visit www.southwest.com/wifi.