One of America’s largest airline carriers is offering FREE WiFi to all passengers on board some of its flights – up until 10 June.
Having begun the trial just a few days ago (4 May), Southwest Airlines – which is the world’s largest low-cost carrier – is currently offering free WiFi on board a number of its Boeing 737 airplanes.
The trial is part of a test for new hardware – which has recently been installed on 40 of the airline’s fleet – to see if it can cope with large numbers of users at one time, as well as provide faster internet to all passengers that connect to it.
Which Flights Are Offering Free WiFi?
As just mentioned, the trial of free WiFi is currently taking place on board 40 of Southwest’s Boeing 737 planes – with these aircrafts operating flights throughout the western part of the United States.
Will You Be Able To Stream Netflix Using The FREE WiFi?
Passengers that are on board any of Southwest’s flights that are part of the Free WiFi trial will be able to “stream, browse, and engage on the internet,” according to Southwest’s Vice President of Customer Experience and Customer Relations, Tony Roach.
So, it does look like passengers will be able to stream their latest Netflix or HBO series whilst cruising at 30,000 feet in the air.
The airline’s current offering of WiFi – which is available on board Southwest’s WiFi-enabled aircrafts at a cost of $8 – does not allow passengers to stream movies and content from websites such as Netflix, HBO Max, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
This is due to the airline’s WiFi blocking access to high-bandwidth websites, applications and video conferencing services.
How Long Will The Trial Last For?
The trial is set to last for six weeks, with all passengers on board the 40 flights – that has the new WiFi hardware installed – being able to connect to the WiFi at no cost.
The trial began on 4 May and will continue up until 10 June.
Is Free WiFi Available On All Southwest Flights?
At this moment in time, no.
However, it could well be in the near future – especially if the newly installed hardware on some of Southwest’s airplanes can cope with large numbers of users at one time.
The airline does currently offer WiFi to all passengers on board its flights at a cost of $8 per passenger to use it – with the service being free to connect to for Southwest’s A-List Preferred Members.
Will Southwest Be Offering FREE WiFi On Board All Of Its Flights In The Future?
At this moment in time, this is unknown.
However, if the trial is a success then it could be that in the future all Southwest passengers will be able to connect to FREE WiFi – which would allow them to stream their favorite movie or TV series whilst flying high in the sky.
Speaking about the airline’s trial of their upgraded WiFi, Southwest’s Vice President of Customer Experience and Customer Relations, Tony Roach, explained the company’s vision:
“Our goal is to evaluate how the new hardware improves performance while delivering a reliable internet experience used by a large volume of Customers.”
Do Any Other Of The Major Airlines In The U.S. Offer Free WiFi?
Right now, only one of America’s major airlines – JetBlue – offers free WiFi to all passengers on board any of its flights.
However, just a month ago we reported that five airlines in the U.S. had lowered the cost of their onboard WiFi services.
And, just last week it was revealed that Hawaiian Airlines will become the first major airline to provide Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service to passengers on board its flights from next year.
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