With the aim to enhance on-board entertainment choices for flyers, Southwest Airlines (LUV) will be offering on-demand movies on flights. The passengers can watch their favorite films on their personal tablets, smartphones, and laptops via the planes' WiFi.
Apart from this, the Dallas based carrier will also upgrade its television package. The airline – that provides 8 live news and sports channels to the personal devices of customers since 2012 – will now start streaming episodes of popular television shows as per passengers’ preference.
Interestingly, these entertainment features come with inexpensive price tags. While one movie costs $5 per device, the television package is also for the same price per day per gadget. Passengers can just connect to WiFi services per device for $8 per day. However, customers are not required to buy WiFi separately for watching movies or tuning to television.
With all The Boeing Company’s (BA) 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft under Southwest having the facilities of Row 44 satellite-based WiFi technology – that represents 75% of total company fleet – most of the people taking a Southwest flight will get access to these newly installed features. In the coming days, all the new deliveries and AirTran converted aircraft will be equipped with the Row 44 technology.
Accessing the Internet on flights is easy for customers who avail the service by clicking "southwestwifi" network option on their personal devices. Subsequently, users can choose WiFi movies or television. Further, the Row 44 satellite technology enables the flights to have connectivity even over water bodies, allowing flyers to remain connected throughout the day, irrespective of places.
We believe that the expansion of in-flight amusement options and addition of novel features to services will distinguish Southwest from other firms and keep it ahead of other industry players such as United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL).
Southwest, currently holds a Zacks Rank #3, implying a Hold rating.
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