Southwest Airlines (WN) is upgrading its inflight entertainment by offering free live TV that passengers can watch on their own WiFi-enabled devices.
Passengers with devices running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android will have free access to 14 live TV channels and up to 75 on-demand TV shows free, available on 427, or 60%, of the carrier’s fleet. TV stations include Bravo, CNBC, FOX News Channel, MSNBC and the Golf Channel, among others. Previously, the service cost $5.
Southwest will continue to charge fliers $8 a day for Wi-Fi Internet access and for entertainment outside the Dish offerings, such as $5 movies. Passengers will see both the live-television and Internet options when they sign in.
Southwest unveiled the deal by bringing the Dish spokesmen known as the “Boston Guys” onto a Southwest flight, where they gave all 130 passengers an iPad 2 on which they could try out Dish’s on-demand content
Dish will use the deal to offer 12,500 Southwest frequent-flier points to new customers who sign up for certain home programming. The companies said they were joining together in a nationwide marketing campaign.
The service will be powered by Row 44, a provider of satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi. Row 44 first launched live TV on Southwest in the summer of 2012.
Image credit: Southwest Ailines