I am a brand new a.net member, and wanted to post my recent trip aboard on of Southwest's new jets equipped with wifi service. There are two test aircraft currently flying in Southwest's fleet equipped with their new wifi service.
I apologize for the quality of the photos (and the lack of photos) but I only had my cell phone with me to take pictures with. Hope you enjoy!
p.s. please go easy on me, i'm a newbie!
Flight: WN 776 SAN-PHX 3/13/2009
I was on a late afternoon flight over to PHX to meet with my family for some spring training baseball games and a horse show for my sister. I got to the airport about an hour and a half early, which is plenty of time for any of you who know SAN. The security line for gates 3-10 was past baggage claim, but moving pretty quickly. I got up to gate 3 with about 45 minutes to spare. As our plane was pulling into the gate to offload the SFO passengers, the gate agent announced that our jet was one of the new wifi test jets! I was so excited to try it out! Boarding was the usual cattle car style with Southwest that somehow works for them, and as I boarded the entire crew was out and welcoming everyone on board. I sat down in my seat and noticed a new info card in the seat back pocket.
The card outlines how to access the internet and asks you to give your feedback. It also lets you know that large downloads and video files may not be allowed in order to allow every passenger the same quality of service. The pilots came on and welcomed us aboard one of WN's newest jets, only 14 months old, and again reminded us about the wifi service. Takeoff was normal and once we reached 10,000 feet we were told we could bring out our computers and try out the wifi. Once you log onto their wifi network and open the internet you are directed to a Southwest page that asks you to enter your name and RR# if you have one. Once you are done with that, you are free to surf the net. At first, the internet was going incredibly slow, but once I refreshed a couple times it work flawlessly. It actually was very fast!
A.NET @FL 290!!
The flight was very short so I didn't have time to do much on my computer, and before I knew it we had to put everything away. One of the FA's told us that the wifi service automatically shuts off at 7,500 feet. Landing was normal for PHX, but I saw this 747 sitting on the tarmac, anyone know what it is?
I loved the WIFI service, it was very fast and I can see it being beneficial for a longer flight. The one downside is the lack of power outlets in the seats. If I were paying for WIFI service transcon, but had nowhere to recharge my computer, I could see that being a problem. Regardless, a great and exciting experience!
Thanks! Hope you enjoyed the TR!