Southwest Airlines dropped a fee this week. The carrier long offered movies on its flights, streamed to a passenger device, for $5. That content is now free. The new pricing took effect today and is rolling out across the fleet throughout the week.
“The onboard experience is one of the most important elements of a Customer’s journey with us,” said Ryan Green, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Southwest Airlines. “Our research shows that a positive experience onboard the aircraft can greatly influence the decision to come back to Southwest. We listened to our Customers and are enhancing our already award-winning experience.”
Last month Southwest added free messaging through its wifi portal, making WhatsApp and iMessage complimentary on board. The live television and audio were previously complimentary as well. With this change Southwest now claims all entertainment content on board is complimentary.
It is not necessary to purchase WiFi in order to use the free inflight entertainment onboard. The carrier is pushing passengers to download the Southwest® mobile app to take advantage of free movies, Live TV, and TV Series content onboard. Live TV remains available outside the app but the movie content requires the app for viewing. The Southwest app for iOS can be found in the App Store and for Android in the Google Play Store.
Since mid-2016 the industry has moved in this direction, with Delta Air Lines leading the pack. American Airlines quickly followed suit and United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue all joined as well. Southwest’s move brings it inline with these other US carriers and makes streaming IFE content on board free (where offered) throughout the country.