Southwest Airlines To Offer Wi-Fi On More Planes

Gogo Inflight Internet service may be looking forward to big expansion plans in the future, but there’s one airline that’s missing from its growth list: Southwest Airlines. That’s because Southwest Airlines and Row 44 have their own plans to roll out Wi-Fi beginning in the first quarter of 2010.

This fall, Southwest will move to the next step of certifying its full fleet with plans to begin fleet wide rollout of the Row 44 satellite service. Southwest has been testing the service on four aircraft since February and has received positive feedback on the product. During the testing phase, customers have been able to use the service for everything from checking email to streaming video. Customers can log on to the service via a personal Wi-Fi enabled device such as a laptop, iPhone, Wi-Fi enabled smart phone, etc.

"We have concluded our testing for in-flight Wi-Fi and are very happy with both the technical performance of the system and the response of customers who have used it," said Dave Ridley, Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President of Marketing and Revenue Management. "We are pleased to be continuing with our plans to offer satellite-enabled broadband access through California-based Row 44."

"Row 44 is thrilled to be the in-flight Wi-Fi service of choice for one of the most customer-focused airlines in the world," said John Guidon, Row 44 Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited about moving forward and delivering Southwest's customers a rich menu of in-flight connectivity and entertainment options."

Southwest has also been testing a variety of price points for the service and will continue to do so through the end of this year.