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WiFi Tips

Jwalsh3rd
Active Member

Based on a lot of experience using WiFi on several different airlines, I have kudos for SWA.  The best feature of SWA WiFi is that it is available ffrom entering the aircraft to departure (if it is working, which will be discussed below).  On flights that I intend to use WiFi i log in as soon as I am seated.  If I do not see the Southwest WiFi spot in my WiFi availability window, then I generally ask if the WiFi is activated.  Usually the crew gets it energized, but sometimes the system does not want to cooperate.  I have learned that the bandwidth is often stressed during a flight, so everything is slow.  On long flights, I just wait for some connections, but I have learned to pay attention to connection times and try to take advantage of those moments when the system is working faster (note, the system is never as fast as my home or office).  If I have a large file to send, then I usually wait until later to send it.  Also, note that the SWA WiFi is not a secure network, so be careful and save your sensitive communications and files for a secure location.  Or use VPN.

 

Pro tips: Write all of your emails and send them from the grounsd and save $8.00, while still getting work done.

 

 

13 REPLIES 13

Re: WiFi Tips

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

Good tips! I too love the gate to gate WiFi on SW along with the good entertainment options!

 

You referenced the idea of “when it is working,” and that spoke to my heart! I haven’t had a flight in the last two months where my WiFi, which is free since I am A List Preferred, did not experience some type of issue. Since I travel for work, I depend on the connectivity to stay productive. I reached out to SW on Twitter, and they let me know that they are working with the vendor to increase reliability. I sure hope so!!

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: WiFi Tips

chgoflyer
Top Contributer

For me, I've never been able to get a usable internet connection on Southwest. 

 

One thing: I don't have any personal experience, but based on the many complaints here I don't believe a VPN will work on Southwest's wifi system. 

Re: WiFi Tips

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@chgoflyer wrote:

For me, I've never been able to get a usable internet connection on Southwest. 

 

One thing: I don't have any personal experience, but based on the many complaints here I don't believe a VPN will work on Southwest's wifi system. 


I've had VPN work for use with drive mapping, but remote desktop has been dismal and even just making a VPN connection seems to be spotty. 

 

I would bring files on thumb drive if at all possible, and plan on only light web browsing or webmail while inflight.

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: WiFi Tips

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

My VPN will connect, but it disables all data transmission for my laptop. So I do not use it.  I am able to use Microsoft 360 to access most anything I need:

  1. as long as I manage my speed expectations, and 
  2. as long as there is a reliable connection, which is often not the case.
-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: WiFi Tips

johnindallas
New Arrival

There is also a green indicator light on the right side of the exit sign in the front galley (sometimes over top of the cockpit door). When that is lit, Internet service is supposedly operational. If it's not lit, there's a slight chance the bulb is burned out and you still have Internet. Of course, it's $8 for a 24-hour period or free for A-List Preferred (yes, I'm thankful). 

 

During the first quarter, about half my flights had no Internet service but that's gotten a little better the last few weeks as they iron out some vendor issues. The greater challenge has been connecting initially via our iPhones. We can set to airplane mode, turn on WiFi and select SouthwestWiFi as the network. It shows active but then will not allow access without going back to settings multiple times, renewing the lease on the network, or just forgetting and reconnecting to the network two or three times. 

 

Someday, this will all get resolved but will just need some patience until then. 

 

 

Re: WiFi Tips

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

Save a bookmark on your phone for getconnected.southwestwifi.com

 

My usual trick to call up the portal using 1.1.1.1 didn't seem to work last time, luckily it was still in my history. (that trick will work at other public wifi with a paywall or login screen.)

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: WiFi Tips

Lindsey Employee
Employee

Love seeing these tips on how to get the best WiFi experience. For those of you experiencing intermittent service or spottiness - I'm so sorry. Know that we are aware how frustrating it is to pay for a service and then not really receive it. We are working hard to improve WiFi usability across our fleet, and in the meantime, thank you for sharing your knowledge here on the SWA Community!

 

Lindsey
Community Manager
The Southwest Airlines Community

Re: WiFi Tips

mfc513
New Arrival

Lindsay, 

 

Thanks for chiming in on behalf of the company!

 

As a frequent SWA flier, I've been VERY frustrated with the wifi situation on numerous occasions -- on prior flights, it was no wifi, which was supremely frustrating, and I'm happy to report that *most* of the flights I've taken recently have had some wifi.

 

BUT! As the OP mentioned, BANDWIDTH has now become an issue. Having a terrible wifi connection (slow, intermittent, etc.) is only marginally better than having no wifi at all!

 

Can you tell us exactly what Southwest is doing to address these issues?

 

As someone who has A-List Preferred status, I don't pay the $8 per flight, but I would GLADLY pay for it if it meant I could actually USE the wifi without wanting to slam my head in the seatback tray table.

Re: WiFi Tips

nashley Employee
Employee
Solution

We understand your frustration, and we select our WiFi providers with the intention of offering the best inflight connectivity possible at a reasonable price. We're constantly relaying feedback and tracking incidents for our  providers so that they can make adjustments and best serve our Customers with WiFi at 35,000 feet. 

Nashley