Updated on July 20, 2015
Like many airlines, Southwest has WiFi available on some of their planes. Up until now I knew that this existed but never really paid much attention to it for a couple reasons. First, I remembered using it when it was first introduced and you could really only watch a handful of channels and that was pretty much it. Second, the SW flights I would usually take were in the morning or late at night and I would frequently just fall asleep.
On my last SW flight I decided to take a look at the WiFi offering again. As I have many times before, I received an email prior to the flight informing me that there was WiFi available, but just like I have many times in the past, I deleted it immediately. However, this time, Katie was asleep and I wasn’t tired, so why not check it out.
I can honestly say that I’m very glad I did! This is not the same SW WiFi from a couple years ago. It is absolutely new and improved! When opening your browser on your iPad, iPhone, Laptop, etc. you are automatically brought to their homepage and there are several options from there.
What are the features?
1) Internet Browsing ($8.00)
For $8 you can use the regular internet just like any other WiFi with limitation on streaming shows like using HBO GO, etc.
2) Messaging ($2.00)
So you don’t really need to use the internet but you were just having a text conversation with 37 people and you really really need to continue it! No problem! For $2 you can continue messaging on iMessage, WhatsApp or Vibe.
3) Live Streaming TV Channels (FREE)
Now we start getting to the really good stuff. There are 20 channels to choose from, including NFL Network, CBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, FOX, BRAVO, etc! The feed starts immediately with NO buffering and the picture is really great quality! I mean, who doesn’t want to watch Shark Week while you are flying?
4) Apple Music playlist (FREE)
Not in to watching TV? Just want to relax and listen to some good music? There are pages and pages of Apple playlists in all different categories to choose from, all for free!
5) eBooks (FREE…sort of)
There is also a fair amount of eBooks with 9 to 25 books per category which can be read for free during your flight by downloading JetBooks. I say that they are sort of free however, because you can only read them during the flight and would need to purchase the book if you wanted to keep reading afterwards.
6) Games (FREE)
You are able to place Sudoku and a Crossword Puzzle for free as well.
8) Flight Tracker, Arrivals, Destination (FREE)
One of my favorite features is that you are able to track your flight on a map and see your updated arrival time, as well as looks up departure times at your destination airport in case you have a connection. Lastly, you can look up information like weather, etc. about your destination. As someone who LOVES maps, I could happily watch this function for a long time haha
9) Southwest.com (FREE)
Finally, you are able to go onto book flights or whatever you needs to do!
10) THE BEST PART: The WiFi is GATE to GATE! You don’t have to wait until you are 10K feet up and you don’t have to shut down the WiFi 25 min before you land. Stuck on the tarmac for 45 minutes after landing? At least you can still watch the episode of Beachfront Bargain Hunt you had on!
So now that I have actually looked at all that is offered with the current Southwest WiFi, I will no longer immediately delete that email Southwest sends me and always fall asleep. Props to Southwest for a great product and continually letting my wife fly everywhere with me for free with our companion pass 😉