Southwest Airlines courts customer loyalty through free IFE


With the aim of engendering greater customer retention, Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest low-cost carrier, is adding a little something to its passenger experience: free access to movies. Streamed movie releases were already available for a fee on the airline’s wi-fi enabled aircraft fleet, but now up to 30 movies are available to passengers without charge.

Passengers need only use their personal electronic devices (smartphone, tablet or laptop) to access the entertainment portal of the Southwest mobile app, wherein they can select from a range of movies. This offer builds on other recent entertainment initiatives by the airline for its wi-fi enabled fleet, including free access to live TV, a free iMessage and WhatsApp messaging service, and no-cost access to iHeartRadio, a digital streaming service with an extensive library of music and podcasts.

“The onboard experience is one of the most important elements of a customer’s journey with us,” said Ryan Green, vice president and chief marketing officer at Southwest Airlines. “Our research shows that a positive experience onboard the aircraft can greatly influence the decision to come back to Southwest.”

How to get free movies

Passengers due to fly on a wi-fi-enabled Southwest aircraft should download the Southwest mobile app (the App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android). Once on board, customers can access the onboard entertainment options via their own personal device by turning on wi-fi access, connecting to the ‘SouthwestWiFi’ SSID, and navigating to It is not necessary to purchase wi-fi in order to access the free inflight entertainment, but for those who do wish to go online there is a US$8 a day per device charge.

Passengers who like to plan their viewing in advance can visit to check out which movies and TV channels are offered onboard, in addition to custom and exclusive content and TV series offered only to Southwest customers.

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About Author


Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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