Just in time for the Thanksgiving travel crush, Southwest this week snagged bragging rights as the first U.S. carrier to offer its passengers gate-to-gate WiFi access.
Effective immediately, Southwest flyers can use their personal electronic devices in airplane mode from gate to gate on all Southwest flights. There’s no charge to connect to the airline’s Inflight Entertainment Portal for access to Dish television programming, a flight tracker, shopping, and games. Movies are offered for $5 per movie, per device. And Internet access is available for $8 per day, per device. Some high-bandwidth applications like Netflix and VoIP are blocked.
Southwest is able to offer gate-to-gate Wi-Fi because its system is satellite-based, as are the systems of United and JetBlue. The Gogo Wi-Fi system, featured on Alaska, American, Delta, and US Airways, among others, is ground-based and therefore cannot provide service throughout the entire flight.
Reader Reality Check
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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