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Just The Fax

Southwest's New WiFi Plan, But Lacks The Power Virgin America Has

A few weeks ago on a flight to Nashville I had the opportunity to experience Southwest Airlines implementation of in flight Wi-Fi that's powered by Row44, a rival to Aircell's GoGo service.

Boarding's Areas Flying WIth Fish has his take on their new pricing and walled garden approach, which is much more customer friendly than the Aircell model. As someone who has been flying almost every week for the past four years on some airline, the addition of Wi-Fi to an inflight experience makes a very big difference. So too does smaller, lighter devices and one big differentiator, in seat power. While SWA will have cheaper Wi-Fi in the sky, their planes don't have in seat power, something that Virgin America does and which some of the bigger planes on American, Delta or United offer, but not in every seat like Virgin America.

Now for the experience. I found Row44 to be for the most part, faster than GoGo, but at the end of the day, not much difference in overall experience. Regardless, being on a plane with Wi-Fi remains a must for the business traveler who needs to "stay connected."

 

 

Comments

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Andy Abramson

They've now done away with the ugly banner that you refer to from what I recall, or perhaps it doesn't show up on a Mac Book ?

Michael Graves

FYI.... http://www.mgraves.org/2010/07/initial-experience-with-southwest-airlines-in-flight-wifi/

Michael Graves

I first tried the Southwest in-flight wifi back in July. It was offered on a 3 hour flight from Houston to LAX. The performance was adequate and the price is right.

However, the fact that they force you into a login screen and then thereafter leave a banner at the top of your browser is a serious PITA. I'm ok with someone co-opting some of my screen real estate in order to place an ad that pays for a free wifi offering. But If I'm paying for the service then they have no right to make such demands.

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