Free streaming TV on Southwest flights!

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DISH & Southwest Airlines have teamed up to bring free live TV on WiFi-enabled flights for a limited time.  The details of this promotion are not entirely clear to me.

Beginning today [July 1] for Southwest Customers using iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®, or most other Internet-ready personal devices, DISH is providing free access to live TV and up to 75 on-demand shows on the airline’s more than 400 Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft.

I am not seeing an end date to this ‘limited time’ promotion nor an explicit list of which devices will work.  In any case you can’t beat free so this is great! Keep in mind you will need to be on one of Southwest’s planes fitted with Wifi (~75% complete) to get in on this free promotion.  As always, you can check Wifi availability on your next flight here.

My experience with live streaming TV

I pondered in a previous post if all the bandwidth that isn’t being used for the excruciatingly slow inflight internet was reserved for streaming TV and my experience indicates that may be true.  The live streaming TV is fantastic.  A couple times I had to click refresh but other than that the picture quality was consistently high with no skipping.  They had 14 live channels covering a lot of the most watched national and cable channels including NBC, HGTV, NFL Network and more.

The bottom line

Southwest airlines’ on-board entertainment strategy seems to be coming together pretty well.  They have banked on customers to bring their own devices aboard and stream a variety of  entertainment options including internet, movies, games and live TV through the satellite based wifi system.  Slowly but surely we are seeing more and better features.  That being said, there still a long way to go as an informal poll amongst my fellow business travelers reveals satisfaction with the internet speed hovers somewhere around zero.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. what are the odds of this working on a laptop computer? I do not have a tablet and the idea of watching tv on my phone sounds miserable.

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