While airlines like Delta are now offering free Wi-Fi for all passengers, Southwest is about to increase Wi-Fi pricing for many.
Southwest will charge for Wi-Fi per flight, rather than per day
As noted by View from the Wing, Southwest will be adjusting its Wi-Fi pricing as of Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Currently the airline charges $8 per day for Wi-Fi, meaning that you could pay that amount and use Wi-Fi across multiple flights, in the event that you’re connecting.
With this change, Southwest will start charging $8 per flight for Wi-Fi. In other words, if you’re on a connecting itinerary, your cost to use Wi-Fi will (at least) double.
This won’t impact some customers, as Southwest operates tons of point-to-point flights. However, it absolutely will impact a lot of passengers, as Southwest also operates connecting service in many markets.
Why is Southwest changing its Wi-Fi pricing model?
Why is Southwest suddenly adjusting its Wi-Fi pricing? Well, Southwest is working on upgrading its inflight Wi-Fi, as the carrier will start transitioning many planes to Viasat (this is the same Wi-Fi provider as on American, Delta, and JetBlue, and is the best that you’ll find).
By charging for Wi-Fi per flight rather than per day, Southwest will be able to use two Wi-Fi vendors without having to integrate the two payment systems. Southwest also claims that charging per flight will offer an experience that many customers are familiar with, since this is similar to the pricing model you’ll find on many other airlines.
Even with this change, Southwest’s Wi-Fi pricing will remain competitive. While JetBlue and Delta lead the way by a long shot (with free Wi-Fi on many planes), Alaska also charges $8 per flight for Wi-Fi. United, meanwhile, charges $8 per day, while American has variable pricing.
If you’re used to Southwest’s current day pass system for Wi-Fi, be prepared for that to change as of next week. Southwest will go from charging $8 per day to charging $8 per flight, and obviously that’s a negative development.
However, in fairness, the switch to Viasat should represent a huge improvement to Southwest’s inflight Wi-Fi offering. I can also appreciate the complexity of using different Wi-Fi vendors, and how day passes can be complicated with that. This is something other airlines have struggled with as well.
The Wi-Fi was virtually unusable on my last Southwest flight, so I’m looking forward to the introduction of Viasat Wi-Fi.
What do you make of these Southwest Wi-Fi pricing changes?
"...without having to integrate the two payment systems..." Hey, Southwest, another way to not integrate the two payment systems is to not charge anybody anything! The small amount of additional revenue will be offset by the number of customers unhappy with an airline who has recently lost creditability.
Sorry, but I think it is ridiculous to charge more than once if you have a connecting flight. I love Southwest for the convenience of booking and changing flights, but this is definitely a change in the wrong direction.
Same here…zone out watching my own downloaded content. Never work on a flight.
Two sets of passengers on SWA. The ones that never use the Wi-Fi and those of us that get it free. I get it free and never use it. Gives me a break from work. The free movies and tv keep me engaged. They will not loose any customers over this.
What if you are on a continuing flight (staying on the plane on the ground at an airport to continue to another destination) with the same flight number? Is the $8 linked to flight numbers, or actual takeoffs and landings?
Only positive thing about this whole change wasn't even mentioned in the article: if you purchase wifi, you can use it on Any of your devices
Can i make my phone a hot spot and charge my seat mates $5 to connect through my phone???
United charges $8 per flight, not per day, last time I flew (last week).
S T U P I D!!!!!!!! Swa is no longer a leader or innovator, instead making yet another dumb change, most likely suggested by someone leftover from that failed airline Swa "bought" and their cancerous ideas that have been destroying and dragging Swa backwards for 10+yrs now making just another airline. Raise the day pass to $10 and keep the flt price at 8 or even 7 bucks. Swa doing this is just subsidizing DL...
S T U P I D!!!!!!!! Swa is no longer a leader or innovator, instead making yet another dumb change, most likely suggested by someone leftover from that failed airline Swa "bought" and their cancerous ideas that have been destroying and dragging Swa backwards for 10+yrs now making just another airline. Raise the day pass to $10 and keep the flt price at 8 or even 7 bucks. Swa doing this is just subsidizing DL and B6s free service. Great move Swa, hand more biz to the competition.
I enjoyed free wifi on SW last year since I was A-List Preferred Plus and more than half the time it was unusable. I'll be happy to pay $8 per flight as long as it works!
Just use the Performance Biz card, unless you fly a ton it'll still be free
“This won’t impact many customers, as Southwest operates tons of point-to-point flights. However, it absolutely will impact a lot of passengers, as Southwest also operates connecting service in many markets.“
Aren’t these two completely opposite viewpoints?
Inelegant, yes. Opposite, no. No more contradictory that saying many people like Biden and also saying many people dislike Biden.
“This won’t impact many customers.”
“This will absolutely impact a lot of passengers.”
Seems pretty opposite to me.
Southwest carries a ton of passengers. Many won't be impacted. Many others will be impacted.
The big question is; when will Viasat on Southwest go live?!
Not soon enough!
Just another Southwest ploy to grab more money since they screwed up so royally over the Meltdown