Southwest Airlines is checking out the in-flight Wi-Fi market.
The Dallas-based carrier confirmed that it recently sent out a “request for proposal” to several in-flight technology providers.
“We need to stay current and smart about our options to diversify the network; our RFP efforts demonstrates our commitment to surveying the industry and what this ever-changing environment can offer,” Southwest spokeswoman Michelle Agnew in an e-mail. “We want to stay ahead of what our Customers have come to expect when flying with Southwest Airlines.”
But Agnew added that Southwest is continuing to work with its existing Wi-Fi partner, Global Eagle Entertainment. Southwest has used Global Eagle Entertainment’s Row 44 product for its in-flight Wi-Fi system and currently charges passengers $8 per flight to use the Wi-Fi.
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The airline also offers passengers free live and on-demand TV that they can stream on their own devices. That service is also provided by Global Eagle Entertainment.
Southwest’s survey comes less than a month after American Airlines filed a lawsuit against its in-flight Wi-Fi provider, Gogo. American later dropped the suit after the two sides agreed that American could look at alternate technologies and Gogo would be able to submit a proposal.