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I find myself on a Southwest domestic flight about once every three days so when inflight options change onboard I tend to pick up on them pretty quick.
New Watch a Movie option
Over the course of the past few weeks, Southwest inflight entertainment, served via its satellite internet, has added a new on-demand Watch a Movie option to complement the existing internet use and live streaming TV.
I like the idea of the new Watch a Movie option, however the launch content is not very impressive. My flight featured recent Hollywood hits such as Jurassic Park (1993) and every points lover’s favorite, Lost in Translation (2003)
Inflight internet price increases
Every flight I can remember on Southwest equipped with inflight internet has charged a flat 5 dollars for all day use. That appears to have changed. Today, for the first time, the price had increased to 8 dollars for all day use. My assumption is that Southwest is switching to a flight length-based pricing model where longer flights charge higher prices though with only one data point it is possible they are keeping the flat pricing and have just decided to raise it to 8. For reference, this was a 4 hour flight.
Update: The Southwest website reveals flat rate pricing with 8 USD per day as the new price.
The price increase does not come with a speed increase
Could the increased price mean they’ve improved bandwidth?! NO. The inflight internet speed on Southwest planes is woeful.I hate to admit this but on this respect I am jealous of The Weekly Flyer’s beloved Delta. Southwest inflight internet is so bad that on average I hear about one person per flight asking the flight attendant for their money back. As a top tier elite on Southwest, the inflight internet is complimentary so I use it every flight but I certainly understand why users ask for refunds.
The bottom line
It is forward thinking to use the inflight internet to stream content to passenger’s own devices as an entertainment hub as opposed to trying to keep up with installing the latest and greatest video technology. However at this point the point is moot as it does not matter what Southwest adds to their entertainment hub until they fix the critical problem of nearly unusable internet speed.