Southwest Airlines has announced a $2 billion investment to improve its passenger experience. On all new aircraft deliveries, key upgrades include better WiFi and power ports at each seat.
The overhead bins will be upgraded as well, with a larger capacity and a wider range of entertainment options and in-flight beverages. Southwest Airlines will also introduce a new pricing category called Wanna Get Away Plus, which offers consumers more flexibility and value.
By the end of May, the airline expects to have improved equipment onboard 50 in-service aircraft, with a total of 350 aircraft modified by Halloween.
Forty Southwest Boeing 737 planes will be outfitted with improved WiFi equipment, allowing passengers to enjoy free WiFi on select flights until June 10. The WiFI will be free for all passengers on flights with the new technology, according to CEO Robert Jordan, to enable the airline better understand how the enhanced equipment operates when a big number of people use it at the same time.
Southwest has also partnered with satellite connectivity provider Viasat to provide its next-generation Ka-band satellite in-flight connectivity (IFC) system to be factory-installed on all new aircraft deliveries, bringing high-quality internet and live television programming onboard beginning in the fall of this year.