Southwest Airlines and satellite television provider DISH yesterday announced a new deal to bring free live and on-demand TV to Southwest's 400 Wi-Fi-enabled planes. While the service is accessible from many Internet-connected devices, Southwest and DISH highlighted compatibility with Apple's iOS devices and gave away roughly 100 iPad 2 units to customers on a Southwest flight.
Beginning today for Southwest Customers using iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, or most other Internet-ready personal devices, DISH is providing free access to live TV and up to 75 on-demand shows on the airline's more than 400 Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft.
The news was unveiled by DISH's "Boston Guys" who surprised each of the passengers aboard a Southwest flight from Boston to Baltimore with a free iPad 2 on behalf of the two companies. Southwest Customers and Crew greeted the news with spirited applause, as for the first time, Customers flying on Southwest Airlines can stream directly to their personal devices live TV and up to 75 on demand titles for free, a savings of $5 per day.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, the deal will see advertising from DISH used extensively throughout the Southwest customer experience, including on flight confirmation emails, airport signage, and in 30-second commercials that will be required viewing before free TV can be accessed.
Additional details on the TV service aboard Southwest flights is posted on the airline's site.