The cost of onboard internet just got slightly more expensive on Southwest Airlines.
The carrier will now charge $8 per flight segment for internet instead of $8 per day. That means if you are taking connecting flights with the airline, you’ll have to pay for onboard internet access all over again.
“With two vendors providing connectivity in our fleet, we’re introducing a new pricing model for onboard internet. Effective Tuesday, February 21, onboard internet will be purchased per-leg, from ‘takeoff to landing’ rather than our current per-day, DayPass,” a Southwest spokesperson told Travel + Leisure.
The airline’s spokesperson further explained that because of Southwest’s extensive network of non-stop flights, the change in pricing structure is likely to only impact a small segment of customers. Only a limited number of customers opt to use paid internet across connecting flights, the spokesperson said.
The price increase is taking place amid efforts by Southwest to upgrade its Wi-Fi offerings. To date, about 350 planes have been upgraded. The entire fleet should receive updates by later this year.
The upgrade efforts will also include installation of other modern features such as USB A and USB C power ports at every seat.
The new price structure does not impact Southwest customers who have A-List Preferred status. For preferred status fliers, internet access will continue to be free onboard.
The airline will also continue to make messaging on iMessage and WhatsApp available for free for all passengers. In addition, the host of other entertainment options available on Southwest flights, such as live TV and movies, will continue to be available at no charge, according to the Southwest website.
Other carriers, meanwhile, are headed in the opposite direction with their Wi-Fi policies. Delta announced recently that it will offer Wi-Fi for free, in partnership with T-Mobile. The airline’s free Wi-Fi offerings kicked off on February 1.
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