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WiFi Southwest: Step-by-Step How to Enable It on Your Next Flight

Looking for Wifi Southwest?

One of the many benefits of traveling with Southwest Airlines is access to WiFi on ALL of their flights.


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Families Fly Free logo (correct colors)


About WiFi Southwest 

Wifi Southwest

While the airline does not have completely free WiFi for computer usage or playing video games, you can purchase it for a reasonable cost.

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1 person can ALWAYS fly free with you on Southwest? My FREE ebook shows you how...

You can, however, access Southwest’s in-flight entertainment network via your personal device that you bring on board for FREE.

Their free entertainment network allows you to access live TV for many networks, as well as certain TV shows via your smartphone, iPad, etc. (see full list of supported devices) and FREE movies, including TOP NEW releases!

Southwest has made some recent changes to their inflight entertainment options, which has always included access to movies, TV and music.

Now you can stream this media directly to your smartphone, laptop or tablet instead of downloading the app for access, which was the only way to access entertainment prior to these recent changes.

These options always help entertain our kids, and now we don’t have to worry about remembering to download and update the app prior to boarding.

Plus, I always like to work while flying Southwest (I consider it my flying office :)), so I enjoy access to Southwest WiFi for surfing the Web and email which does still require paying the $8 daily fee for WiFi access.


Top Tip: WiFi Southwest is just $8 per day for the full WiFi offering, including computer usage for email and browsing.


What Activities Can You Do on Southwest WiFi?

Southwest WiFi


  • Surf the web on your computer or personal device. Note: The airline does attempt to filter indecent content.
  • Access your email


What Is the Cost?

southwest wifi

For $8 per day (it works on multiple flights over the course of a day, which is very helpful if you have to change planes), you can get connected to the Internet for email, browsing, work, etc.

NetFlix and HBO Go are NOT available due to high bandwidth required.

If you pay for Internet access with your Southwest credit card, you will earn double points, though really that’s only 16 points ;-).

A-List Preferred elite status members get FREE WiFi on Southwest Airlines!

If you hold the Southwest Performance Business card, which has the highest bonus offer of ANY Southwest card, you can charge the WiFi fee to your card 365 days a year and get a statement credit for it, so it’s FREE!


What You Get With the Free Entertainment Portal

WiFi Southwest

  • Access to 19 live TV channels and 75 episodes from popular TV series.
    • Southwest has also added ESPN, ESPN2 and the Disney Channel to their line-up of television options.
    • Travelers can catch ESPN sports nearly from take-off to touchdown.
    • That’s great news for sports fans who may be missing a key game when flying. I remember watching the World Cup games on network TV on a Southwest plane a couple years ago!
  • Watch a movie.
    • Up to 30 movie options, including new releases. Visit Southwest.com/Wifi to see the current offerings.
  • Free instant messaging via WhatsApp or iMessage.
  • Stream music via iHeartRadio.
  • Play a game.
  • Track your flight’s location.
  • Watch live or on-demand TV.


How to Connect to the FREE Entertainment Portal Step by Step 

WiFi Southwest


Recent Changes Allow You to Access Inflight Entertainment Without the App

After the recent improvements to the in-flight entertainment portal, passengers still need to complete the following steps but don’t need the app to do so.

  1. Go into settings and switch to airplane mode, then turn on WiFi.
  2. Choose Southwest WiFi from your network list.
  3. If the portal doesn’t load automatically, type www.southwestwifi.com into the address bar of your web browser.
  4. You may now enjoy your FREE entertainment by accessing it on this web page

Southwest also gives you destination guides for your arrival city. 


Top WiFi Southwest Tips

WiFi Southwest

  • Make sure you have the Airtime Player app downloaded to your device BEFORE you board the plane and while you have access to WiFi.
    • This will allow you to access their inflight entertainment options.
  • If you want to take advantage of free texting, be sure to download WhatsApp before the flight.
  • It also works for iMessage (between 2 iPhones both connected to WiFi).
  • You will need to agree to the terms on the messaging page in the portal in order to receive access.
  • Additionally, the person you are texting must also have iMessage (ie an iPhone; you will know this because the bubble will be blue) in order to text one another.
  • Make sure all devices are updated to the latest software (oh, and charged up, too!).
    • Southwest does not have outlets on board for charging devices.
  • If the WiFi is not working, neither is the inflight entertainment.
    • Make sure kids have movies downloaded from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or iTunes (all will let you download select movies), a book or other activities in case the inflight entertainment is not working.


What’s Coming for Southwest Airlines WiFi?

Southwest Wifi

Southwest’s entire fleet is now WiFi enabled.

They continue to work on improving the speed by increasing bandwidth. Hooray!

I’ve noticed the quality of the WiFi on Southwest does seem to be improving.

Have more Southwest WiFi questions?

Here are Southwest’s FAQs on the topic.



Want more points for free flights on Southwest?

Southwest Priority Card Check out the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa cards, which let you earn tens of thousands of points that you can use to book free flights on Southwest! These points also qualify for the 125,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, so one person can fly free with you for up to two years. These include... Keep in mind you can only hold ONE personal Southwest card at a time, though you can hold two Southwest business cards. To ensure you time these cards in the best way possible to easily ALWAYS have a Southwest Companion Pass, join hundreds of others inside our Families Fly Free membership, where we'll show you our proprietary Fly Free process and map out a step-by-step plan personal to your family.



My Favorite Travel Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you want to earn EVEN MORE Southwest points, Chase Sapphire Preferred, my FAVORITE travel credit card, offers 60,000 points upon meeting a $4,000 minimum spend in the first three months and a low $95 annual fee.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Flexible points transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio instantly and are worth DOUBLE if you have a Southwest Companion Pass
  • 3X points on dining 
  • 2X points on travel
  • 10% points bonus annually on spending
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance

Please note, this card’s points DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass but CAN be used to book FREE flights on Southwest.

[Read my full review of this card]


To review or apply for any of the cards in this post, please use the links within this post or the CREDIT CARDS links in the main menu above (shown in the image below). This allows us to earn a commission—at no cost to you—to support our small business. Thanks so much for taking that step!

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5 thoughts on “WiFi Southwest: Step-by-Step How to Enable It on Your Next Flight”

  1. Also SW Wifi (and all SW inflight purchases such as drinks) is 20% back with SW Priority card, if you don’t have the Performance Business card.


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