Holiday Surprise: Nintendo Handed Out Free Wii U Consoles to Entire Southwest Flight

Nintendo surprised an entire flight of passengers on Southwest Airlines by handing out free Wii U consoles to each and every person. There were more than 100 passengers on flight 1883 from New Orleans to Dallas Love Field, and every one of them walked off the plane with Nintendo's latest home console after being greeted by a costumed Mario character.

The surprise act kicked off a partnership between Nintendo and Southwest that will extend through the holiday season. Nintendo is now the official video game partner of Southwest Airlines, and as such it will set up Wii U Gaming Lounges in some of the Southwest's busier airports between now and December 22. That will give passengers a fun way to pass the time rather than sit in the terminal and twiddle their thumbs.

Mario Southwest Wii U
Image Source: Southwest Airlines

"Southwest Airlines continues to look for ways to have fun with our Customers and partnering with Nintendo will do just that," said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer. "Much like Southwest, Nintendo delivers enjoyment and passion and we look forward to bringing the fun to our Customers nationwide."

Wii U Gaming Lounges are being placed in Dallas Love Field, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and St. Louis. Up to four players can game at a time at each kiosk for free.

Mario Southwest
Image Source: Southwest Airlines

Nintendo faces some stiff competition in the home console space. Both Sony and Microsoft recently release next-generation consoles, each of which sold 1 million units in the first 24 hours. Meanwhile, Nintendo is struggling to move Wii U consoles, having sole just 460,000 units during the six month period ended September 30, and 3.91 million units since it launched.