The buzz around the Internet yesterday was Southwest’s announcement to offer free wireless Internet on their flights this March. Their test campaign will be restricted to only four planes, which will be offering free WiFi for 60 days.
Southwest WiFi will be featuring a default Yahoo homepage which is customized for specific flights and their destinations. The Yahoo homepage has a flight tracker that follows individual flights and offers information on destination hotels, restaurants and transportation services.
Joanne Bradford, Yahoo’s senior VP of revenue and market development, told InformationWeek that the “home page will give passengers the information they need about what’s happening on the ground before they land so they can literally make on-the-fly decisions about their trip.”
I’m also thinking that the Yahoo advertising and hotel reservation revenue may somewhat offset the normal fees which would be associated with WiFi connections. Let’s hope that the majority of users don’t automatically reset the homepage as soon as they log on and actually use Yahoo.
Southwest is by far my favorite airline, with their Rapid Rewards, efficiency, Lo-Carb Monster Energy Drinks, no baggage fees and excellent service; adding free WiFi to the mix will make me a customer for life.
Internet in the airplane! The future is here.