Live TV Available at 40,000 Feet | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Live TV Available at 40,000 Feet

Southwest Airlines to test service on 20 planes



    (Published Tuesday, July 3, 2012)

    Dallas-based Southwest Airlines is taking in-flight entertainment to new heights.

    The airline is offering live TV on select planes.

    "This is just a really exciting day for Southwest Airlines -- the fact that we are moving into true in-flight entertainment," airline spokeswoman Katie McDonald said. "The fact that people can now watch live TV on personal devices is truly a new thing for our industry, and it's really exciting."

    Southwest is testing the seven-channel spread of sports and news on five of its 500 planes.

    By the end of the month, the airline will quadruple that number to 20 planes and hopes it's popular enough to offer it on even more planes.

    "Customers are extremely thrilled and very much looking forward to getting live TV on a lot more of our aircraft," McDonald said.

    The live signal comes by way of satellite Wi-Fi and is something you can access on a smartphone or tablet.

    McDonald said that customers increasingly bring their personal devices on planes, making the decision to offer live TV very easy.

    The airline is experimenting with pricing. It will cost anywhere from $3 to $5 for one day's access, no matter how many planes you on. The prices will change in order to determine what it should cost if the service is officially rolled out.

    Southwest currently offers Internet access through Wi-Fi on 250 of its planes, so it will be easy to add live TV to those aircraft if it the service takes off.