Understanding Southwest’s Wi-Fi

Understanding Southwest’s Wi-Fi

There’s a Louis CK bit that he did on Conan O’Brien’s show titled “Secret of Happiness” here’s an excerpt.

I was on an airplane and there was high-speed internet on the airplane… it’s fast, I’m watching YouTube clips, I’m on an airplane. It breaks down, they apologize, and the guy next to me is like “This is bull…”

Like how quickly the world owes him something he knew existed only 10 seconds ago?

Ten years ago WiFi while flying was rare, and if you found it, it wasn’t cheap. Flash forward a decade and most airline airlines offer it, plus it’s affordable. I switched to Southwest in 2016  and I’ve discovered one of the benefits they offer is some decent complimentary in-flight entertainment. Even if you’re not A-List Prefered.

Here’s the breakdown:

WiFi – Satellite-based WiFi connectivity is available for $8 all day, per device. Most of my flights are under two hours, and I can do without e-mail for those two hours.

TV – TV is currently free of charge and is comprised of live TV channels and on-demand episodes of your favorite shows. Their current live TV channel line-up isn’t bad for FREE. I use this time to catch up on the latest episode of Bravo’s Southern Charm……. yes, I’m that guy.

Southwest WiFi

Movies – Movies are available for $5 per movie, per device. If you have a connecting flight, you can continue to view a movie purchased on a previous (same-day) flight. ** Note movies can’t be downloaded to your device. Current movie offerings include a combination of classics, and recent releases and children’s movies. On my two or three flights each year to the west coast, I download some Netflix content and finish watching it in my hotel room.

Messaging – For $2 per day, per device, you can access pre-downloaded messaging apps (iMessage, WhatsApp and Viber). Making it easy to stay in contact with friends and family using the same apps.

Two “must-haves” for in-flight enjoyment. First some sort of a Power Bank, and second a pair of wireless, noise canceling headphones.

When it comes to the Power Bank buy nothing less than 10000mAh. This should charge your cell phone no less than 3 times. I’m a huge fan of ANKR products. If you’re a fancy lad select one with LED’s so you know how much of a charge is left in it.

For noise canceling headphones go with wireless. Headphone wires on a plane with luggage, backpacks and seats is a recipe for disaster. It’s easy to go with all the hype and grab a pair of Bose, but at $350.00 this might not be the best value. Every stranger will know you’re wearing Bose, and that gets you a giant pile of nothing.

The Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM2 are solid. You can find them under $300.00 on a regular basis. Plus there’s plenty sub-$100.00 that will fill the bill and fill your wallet with an extra $200.00. For example, the COWIN E7 is $70.00 and could make your next trip a bit more pleasurable.

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