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Last week, I was traveling to Denver from BWI on my preferred domestic carrier for business travel, Southwest. I am always (cautiously) thrilled when the flight attendants announce we are on a WiFi enabled plane, especially on a 3+ hour flight.
As an A-List Preferred member on Southwest, I have complimentary access to WiFi when it is available. Otherwise it is generally 5 USD. Access to the internet comes in handy for only the basics of email checking and the occasional iMessage on my iPhone because the internet on every Southwest flight I have ever been on is atrociously SLOW. The satellite-based technology Southwest uses is supposed to be better than ground-based services like Gogo but my experiences have not agreed with those claims.
I have come to terms with the slow internet speeds and hope for improvement but I must say I was a little surprised to see Live streaming television offered on the flight. Users have access to 7 channels on either a laptop or mobile device. The price is variably set based on length, with this 3+ hour flight asking for 6 USD.
I realize the technology allows dedicated bandwidth to the live TV service, but if the internet bandwidth can barely load an image on my laptop, I am not too confident the live streaming television will deliver. The sadistic side of me wanted to give it a whirl just to see how bad it really was given the internet bandwidth I was detecting on that flight but I just couldn’t get myself to try.
The bottom line
I would be happy to shell out 6 USD to keep me entertained on a long flight (especially to watch one of those feisty NFL games only on the NFL Network) but the current state of the inflight internet will keep me away for now. That being said, I like to see Southwest exploring new ideas for inflight entertainment.
Has anyone tried this service? Is that where all the bandwidth is hiding?!