While legacy fleets are getting older, fees are getting crazier, service is tanking, and prices are soaring -- airlines still have to figure out a way to convince you to fly. Well, those of you who don't have to fly for work, anyway. In recent years, the addition of Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi has become something of a norm, but Southwest is adding something a little extra. The company announced today that movies on demand are now available on all WiFi-equipped Southwest aircraft for only $5 per movie, per device. The airline also announced an upgrade to their television package. In 2012, Southwest became the only airline in the world to stream live television directly to Customers' personal devices. Now, in addition to eight channels of live news and sports, Customers can also select on-demand episodes of popular television shows. The upgraded TV package is $5 a day, per device on WiFi-enabled planes.
The majority of Southwest Customers now have access to WiFi, movies on demand, and the upgraded television offering. As of February 6, all Southwest Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft were equipped with Row 44 satellite technology that enables these entertainment offerings/services. This milestone represents nearly 75 percent of all Southwest aircraft, which completes the retrofit installations. Moving forward, all new deliveries and AirTran conversions will enter service with Row 44 technology installed.
WiFi service can be purchased for $8 a day, per device including stops and connections. Customers do not need to purchase WiFi in order to access movies or TV. Curiously, Southwest remains one of the few holdouts that still use Row 44 instead of Gogo, but we're most interested to see what kind of impact ViaSat has on the industry given its higher speeds and international capabilities.