Planning on flying Southwest Airlines to Disney World or anywhere else? Well your next flight might be a little different and more…high tech!
Southwest has already announced some changes coming to the airline in the future, like the introduction of a new fare type. But recently it announced a whole bunch of other changes (including more USB ports!) that flyers might really be able to take advantage of and enjoy during upcoming flights.
Recently, Southwest posted a photo on Twitter of their seats with an illuminated USB port. The comment on the post said “something’s coming…”
Something’s coming… pic.twitter.com/dDRh6xxFVm
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) May 11, 2022
In conjunction with the Twitter post, Southwest posted a press release on their website about some of the technological advancements coming to their airplanes.
According to the press release, Southwest was recently awarded the J.D. Power Award for Highest Customer Satisfaction among economy carriers in North America. Now, Southwest is doing even more for its customers through $2 billion worth of investments.
Some of Southwest’s commitments include the following:
- “Bring enhanced WiFi connectivity onboard aircraft;
- Install latest-technology onboard power ports to charge personal devices at every seat;
- Offer larger overhead bins with more space and easier access to carryon items;
- Launch a new fare category with added flexibility and value, Wanna Get Away PlusTM;
- Introduce more entertainment options and a wider selection of refreshments in the cabin; and,
- Enable new self-service capabilities to bring elevated ease in doing business with Southwest, benefiting Employees and Customers.”
According to Southwest, in terms of connectivity and WiFi, they’ve got a few things in mind. First, they’ll be upgrading the WiFi equipment on their existing fleet of airplanes. That’ll lead to significant improvements when it comes to speed and bandwidth.
They’ve got plans for the latest generation hardware to get on 50 in-service planes by the end of May, and are projecting to get it on 350 aircrafts by the end of October.
Southwest is also testing the upgraded WiFi on some routes “over the western mainland U.S.” If you happen to be on one of those flights, you might just be able to get FREE WiFi.
In addition, “Southwest recently entered into an agreement with…satellite connectivity provider Viasat to provide high quality internet and live television programming onboard newly delivered aircraft beginning in the fall of this year.”
When it comes to your seat, Southwest is also planning to install “latest-generation onboard USB A and USB C power ports on every seat in the aircraft.” That’ll help you keep your devices charged throughout your flight! Plus, they are planning to use a system that won’t compromise legroom. This new feature is set to be added to 737 MAX aircraft starting in early 2023.
Southwest will also be doing more things to improve the customer experience. When it comes to bags, Southwest will be working on larger overhead bins that’ll give guests “easier access to store and retrieve luggage onboard.” These larger bins are expected to be on aircraft deliveries starting early next year.
There will also be greater ability for Southwest customers to do things digitally when it comes to their flight. For example, Southwest has said that by late summer of 2022, customers will be able to “purchase Upgraded Boarding A1-A15 positions (when available) on their mobile devices without standing in line at the airport.” In the future, they will also be looking into doing things like letting guests add lap child travelers when booking online.
Southwest is also introducing a new fare type called Wanna Get Away Plus, about which we previously shared some details. This fare type is expected to become available later this month (May). It brings together a “new ability to transfer travel funds and to confirm a same-day change to an available seat on a different flight between the same origin and destination, without a change in base fare.”
And when it comes to beverage selections, Southwest is going to be adding some new options. This summer Southwest passengers can expect to see a Bloody Mary Mix. There will then be a ready-to-drink cocktail available in September, new options of Hard Seltzer, and more.
Plus, Southwest is planning to enhance its in-flight entertainment to “more than double the number of free movies currently available by end of year” and they’ll also be updating their flight tracker.
While it won’t all be available right away or all at once, it sounds like those flying Southwest will have a number of things to look forward to in the coming months! We’ll keep an eye out for more updates and let you know what we find.
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