Thanks for providing your feedback on our Inflight Entertainment and WiFi experience. I do want to apologize that we’re not meeting your expectations with this service. We know how important reliable WiFi is to your overall Inflight Experience and want you to know that we are working hard to enhance the offering.
We have made strides over the recent years and are now providing connectivity at speeds nearly seven times what they were just two years ago. We’re also proud to say we’ve extended coverage to Hawaii and are one of the few airlines offering gate-to-gate connectivity between the islands. As great as those accomplishments may seem, we do know our current bandwidth will not support the long term needs of our Customers.
An important element of improving the Inflight Experience is focusing on equipment reliability. We are flying a fleet of nearly 750 hotspots in the air with onboard servers, multiple modems, antennas, and access points with an extensive ground network connected to multiple satellites over 22,000 miles in the sky. If an aircraft does not have fully functioning WiFi, our priority is to continue flying the scheduled routes of that aircraft as opposed to pulling the aircraft from service to immediately fix the WiFi, which could negatively impact thousands of Customers who expect their flight to operate as scheduled. But this can mean a less than ideal experience when looking to utilize Inflight Entertainment and WiFi. Please know that teams from all across Southwest are working to limit that impact as much as possible.
As we continue to work closely with our connectivity vendors to improve bandwidth and speed, we are focused on enhancing our entertainment offerings which help divert Customers from WiFi and reallocate them to services like Free Live TV, Free Movies or Free Messaging which take up little bandwidth or leverage onboard content. We are also constantly working to optimize the service as we recently rolled out improvements to our portal sign-in feature to make it easier to access the portal, are currently testing Apple Pay to make payments easier, and are also excited to continue to improve our portal and content expeience.
Free Music, Free Messaging and Free Movies is great, but the need to ensure Customers remain connected with Inflight Internet is an ongoing effort. Please know that we do hear you and are working on our long term options that best balance an improved experience as well as stay true to our low cost promise so we can continue to offer the Southwest Hospitality that you have come to expect.
Thank you so much for your feedback and thank you for flying Southwest!
...Posting this while using Southwest WiFi flying 33,000 feet at 520mph somewhere over Indiana...
Director of Digital Customer Platforms
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I'm not sure I'm understanding what the issue is for you. For me, when I arrive at the airport I get a notification that I can tap that immediately calls up the boarding pass. If, for some reason that isn't working, I just tap on Google Pay, and the boarding pass is shown by default. If you had to do the entire process manually, it would involve a total of three clicks: Google Pay, Passes (icon on the bottom of the screen), and then the boarding pass from the list (at the top, since they are shown from most recent to oldest). Once displayed, Google Pay sets the screen brightness to full and locks auto-rotate. (If everyone using mobile boarding passes did these two things I suspect it would speed up boarding.) FYI: To delete a boarding pass, just tap the menu in the upper right hand corner, and select Remove.
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The idea of putting the disabled at the back is not a good solution. The flight attendants usually sit in the front. If you put a handicapped person in the back and there is an emergency to exit the aircraft the flight attendants are around at the front to help them off. If they are in the back it may spell disaster.. Putting restrictions as to where they can sit is put in place. (No exit rows). Some people may be taking advantage of the pre boarding rule I agree but in my experiance (and I do fly a lot) I do not see that many taking advantage. I even have friends who can claim a "Medical" issue and they prefer boarding with the normal group because they do not want to be "pointed at".
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