DISH and Southwest Airlines extend free in-flight TV

Michelle Clancy | 20-01-2014

DISH and Southwest Airlines have decided to extend their partnership for in-flight TV throughout the United States and plan to continue offering it for free.

DISH provides Southwest customers using iOS, Android and most other Internet-ready devices free access to nearly 20 live TV channels and up to 75 on-demand shows on the airline's nearly 440 Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft. The 'TV Flies Free' promotion has been extended through the rest of the year.

On-board access to live TV, on-demand programming and Wi-Fi connectivity is delivered by Southwest's satellite-based inflight entertainment and connectivity partner, Row 44, a subsidiary of Global Eagle Entertainment.

The programme was originally announced in July 2013 when DISH and Southwest surprised passengers aboard a Southwest flight with a giveaway of free iPad 2 devices to celebrate the new partnership. It's been a customer acquisition strategy for DISH.

And to that point, as part of the extension, DISH will continue offering new customers who sign up for the Hopper and a qualified programming package, 12,500 points in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards programme and the choice of a free iPad Mini.

"Since the FAA changed its rules regarding personal electronic device usage, mobile video viewing on Southwest Airlines flights has increased more than 20%," said James Moorhead, DISH CMO. "By extending our partnership with Southwest, we are able to give their customers a sample of what DISH customers experience on a daily basis, their favourite TV programmes, anytime, anywhere and at no additional cost, simply the best mobile TV experience."