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Southwest's InFlight Internet: Testing, Testing
UPDATE: Southwest's CEO Gary Kelly tested the in-flight WiFi today and sent out an email to his executive planning committee: Y'all are my first email from SWA Wifi. It's awesome! Speed is good. Customers obviously luv it.
Y'all are my first email from SWA Wifi. It's awesome! Speed is good. Customers obviously luv it.
Even in the air, Keller stays on message.
Could you possible log on onboard in the No Hidden Fee Zone? Southwest Airlines announced today it will begin testing in-flight WiFi in conjunction with tech startup Row 44, with hopes to have 4 planes WiFi enabled by March. But where can we get it, and how much will it cost?
Along with the announcement Southwest posted a short video of digital addicts using Facebook and their iPhones on a test flight of unspecified destination. (You can't make a cell phone call, though.) They even showed off what we assume is Row 44's machinery at work, dubbed "Gadget 13," making this test the first in which we've actually seen the sausage being made, so to speak.
We dinged Row 44 for making a big splash at CES without any examples of its superiority over other in-flight wireless providers like Gogo. Now they're making good and, if the president's interview with the New York Times holds, may actually be undercutting the market with charges of $6 for handheld devices and $8 for laptops.
And while not all of Southwest's fee-conscious passengers will spring for that kind of extra, some will -- or rather, we would.
No routes were named as potentially WiFi ready, but looking into our crystal ball we foresee Internet popping up en route to Vegas, Chicago-Midway and Phoenix, their top three destinations (and two of which are cities included on the test flights today and tomorrow).
· Jan '08: Southwest Airlines Announces In-Flight WiFi< [Jaunted]
· Aug '08: Southwest Planning Some WiFi Flights by Year's End [Jaunted]
· Row 44's CES Hype Doesn't Equal In-Flight Internet [Jaunted]
· Virgin InFlight WiFi Liveblog [Jaunted]
· You Think The Guy In The Seat Next To You Is Annoying Now? [NYT Bits Blog]