November 2010 Archives

Southwest In-Flight Wifi Review

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I just took a Southwest Airlines flight that was wifi enabled. I couldn't resist the temptation to give the wifi a spin.

My review, in a nutshell? It costs $5, it appears to work with (at least) HTTP(S), Outlook, and ssh... but the performance leaves something to be desired.

In-flight Wifi Speed Test

The Wifi gateway also appears to mangle HTML passing through it in order to display a Southwest airlines banner over the top of the pages. This does provide some function -- it indicates your current altitude and ETA. But they could have included a way to disable the behavior.

The bottom line? It works, and that much is neat. But given the performance limitations (and keep in mind this is just one data point), I doubt its utility for anything but basic surfing. But on a long flight, I don't think books or magazines could make the time pass by with such ease.