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February 20, 2013

Southwest Airlines Unveils Newest In-Flight Feature, Movies On-Demand

By Jody Ray Bennett, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Today, Southwest Airlines has revealed that it will be offering travelers movies on-demand, making them available on all their Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft. The cost will be 5$ per movie, per device you use. In addition to this new feature, Southwest Airlines has upgraded its live television package. The package, which included eight channels of live sports and news, will now include on-demand episodes of more popular TV shows. This TV package upgrade is also 5$ per day, per device.

The airline became the only airline in the world to stream live TV to the personal devices of their customers back in 2012.

Most of Southwest customers now have access to movies on-demand, Wi-Fi, and the upgraded television package. Southwest has completed the retrofit installations after having equipped 75 percent of its aircraft with Row 44 technology as of February 6, enabling these services on its planes. In addition, all future deliveries and AirTran conversions will use Row 44 technology.

Southwest Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Business Development, Dave Ridley said in a statement, “Providing a comprehensive and robust in-flight connectivity system for our customers is paramount...” Customers do not need to purchase Wi-Fi in order to access TV or movies. Including stops and connections, Wi-Fi service can be purchased for 8$ per day, per device. “Our flight attendants are famous for delivering superb customer service, and we’re excited to enhance our onboard entertainment offering and take the customer experience to new heights”, said Dave Ridley.

To access the internet, watch movies, or watch TV, the process is simple. Customers just connect to “Southwest Wi-Fi” using their Wi-Fi enabled device aboard any Boeing (News - Alert) 737-700 or 737-800 aircraft. From there, they launch their browser to be directed to the in-flight entertainment portal. Once at the portal, customers can select from television, movies, or Wi-Fi. Access to a flight tracker, shopping, and games are also available through this portal.

With this newly debuted offering, no matter where flyers happen to be they will remain connected all day and night, even over bodies of water, due to Row 44 satellite technology.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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