Southwest upgrade planes with faster Wi-Fi and larger overhead bins
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Southwestern Airlines he said it will spend more than $ 2 billion on improving passenger services such as bigger bins, faster internet and power outlets “everywhere” in an effort to woo travelers as reservations bounce.
The airline also plans to double the number of movies it offers travelers and upgrade its onboard drink options to include a mix of Bloody Mary’s, ready-to-drink cocktails, hard seltzer and rose wine.
The changes come as airlines prepare for a recovery in both leisure and business travel after more than two years Covid-19 pandemic.
United airlinesfor example, last year announced a series of cabin upgrade like the new backrest screens and entertainment systems. It too is preparing the cabins for larger overhead baskets. Delta Airlines is installing new seats for the home first class and has stated that it aims to offer free internet in the future. Other Hawaiian airlines plan to offer Free Wi-Fi via SpaceX’s Starlink service as early as next year.
Southwest’s $ 2 billion investment will last five years and is part of an estimated capital expenditure of $ 3.5 billion on average per year through 2026, as announced in December. The changes are aimed at all customers, but Southwest recently stepped up its efforts to sell to business travelers.
The airline in March announced a new one the second cheapest fare option for travelers willing to pay more for greater flexibility. Last week, he told staff he will temporarily offer travelers free Wi-Fi on select flights as he tests new hardware that aims to bring faster speeds to more passengers, CNBC reported.
The carrier also said it recently entered into an agreement with the satellite internet provider Viasat for in-flight connectivity as early as this fall, starting with new 737 Max aircraft deliveries. Southwest offers Internet for $ 8 a day and currently has no plans to give free access beyond hardware testing.
Southwest, which has a fleet of more than 700 Boeing 737s, estimates that by the end of 2023 it will have internal power, which it does not currently offer, on around 250 aircraft. Power outlets will be available early next year on Max aircraft and are equipped with USB A and USB C power ports.