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Southwest Expands On-Demand TV Programming, Adds Movies

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 | 11:44 AM ET
Southwest Airlines
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Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has expanded on-demand TV programming and movies to all of its Wi-Fi equipped aircraft after testing the service last year.

In 2012, Southwest became the only airline in the world to offer streaming content to passengers' own devices, such as Apple iPads and iPhones. The expansion began Tuesday. (Read more: Southwest Offers Live TV on Select Aircraft)

All Wi-Fi equipped aircraft—about 75 percent of Southwest's fleet—movies are now available for $5 per movie, per device. And Southwest expanded its TV service priced at $5 per day, per device, to include on-demand episodes of popular TV shows in addition to the eight channels of live news and sports previously offered.

The satellite-based service, provided by Row 44, is available to passengers on their Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones.

The live TV and movie options are offered as a separate, additional charge from the existing Wi-Fi Internet service priced at $8 per day, per device. Passengers do not need to purchase Wi-Fi in order to access movies or TV.

And Row 44 is dedicating a separate portion of its satellite bandwidth for the TV service to avoid slowing those surfing the Internet.

More airlines are enhancing entertainment options for travelers, and streaming content to passengers' own devices is likely to expand. (Read more: Will iPads Revolutionize In-Flight Entertainment?)

For more information on Southwest's expanded service, click here.

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