Photo Credit: Miguel Ángel Sanz
Faster Wi-Fi And Larger Overhead Bins Among Upgrades Coming To Southwest
Southwest’s airplanes will soon be receiving some new upgrades. The airline plans to spend over $2 billion to enhance its planes in hopes of making the flight experience a bit more pleasant for customers.
According to NBC Chicago, enhancements will include faster Wi-Fi speeds and larger capacity overhead storage bins. Power outlets will also be added to allow for device charging capabilities at every seat.
Passengers can also expect to see more in-flight entertainment and refreshment options added for their enjoyment. The airline will begin offering twice as many movies. It will also add new drinks to its menu, including rose wine, bloody marys, hard seltzer, and a variety of ready-to-drink cocktails.
The changes will be implemented over the course of five years as both the leisure and business travel sectors of the industry continue to rebound from the global COVID-19 pandemic. The airline hopes the upgrades will serve as new incentives that will allow it an advantage over competitors, appealing to the throngs of travelers returning to the skies.
Currently, Southwest does not offer any free internet options, however, in-flight Wi-Fi is available for $8. In-seat power, which is not currently offered at all, will begin being available early next year on the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX planes. The outlets, which will feature both USB A and USB C ports, are expected to be available on roughly 250 aircraft by the end of next year.
With its upgrade plan, Southwest joins the trend of other major airlines adding new and improved features to vie for customers’ business. Last year, United Airlines, announced it will upgrade its aircraft with new seatback screens, entertainment systems, and bigger overhead compartments. Hawaiian Airlines and Delta are also planning to begin offering free internet.