Southwest Airlines Co.
) announced that it will allow passengers to use their electronic
gadgets during all phases of the trip. Allowing Wi-Fi service on
board marks a landmark move for the budget carrier.
Southwest became the only U.S. carrier to provide gate-to-gate
Wi-Fi service, which necessarily means that passengers can stay
connected on their portable electronic devices from the moment
they step on a flight till they exit.
Notably, last October, the FAA (Federal Aviation
Administration) ruled that radio signals do not pose threats to
aircraft safety and allowed U.S. carriers to provide Wi-Fi
service during take-off and landing.
Delta Airlines Inc.
) were the foremost carriers to start the facility followed by
four other carriers.
Unlimited use of Internet on board will be available on
Southwest's Wi-Fi enabled fleet at an unchanged price of $8 per
day including stops and connections. Subscribers will be able to
enjoy free live TV programs of
DISH Network Corp.
) throughout the flight without any disruption.
Southwest's initial target of Wi-Fi investments was to allow
customers Wi-Fi usage throughout the course of a trip and hence
opted for a satellite-based technology, which powers in-flight
options. At present, Southwest provides 435 aircrafts with Wi-Fi
facility. However, the carriers have warned that bulky electronic
devices that are larger than tablets, might pose danger due to
their weight and size.
Air carriers are adding novel features to their service and
introducing products to improve passenger satisfaction and
experience. Passengers prefer uninterrupted Internet during the
course of the flight either to say connected or for television
viewing. We believe this effort from Southwest will only add to
the company's ancillary revenues, which are increasingly becoming
important revenue streams for carriers.
Southwest carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
DELTA AIR LINES (DAL): Free Stock Analysis
DISH NETWORK CP (DISH): Free Stock Analysis
JETBLUE AIRWAYS (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis
SOUTHWEST AIR (LUV): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.