Southwest Airlines Tests New Way To Deliver In-Flight Entertainment

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(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Flying these days can be anything but an entertaining experience, but Southwest Airlines is trying a new service that puts live TV at your fingertips.

It’s becoming common to see WiFi offered on flights, but few planes are equipped with individual video screens.

“There’s the weight,” says Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins. “There’s the fact that they have to be maintained, the technology turns over.”

That’s why, Hawkins says, they’re leaving the screen in your hands — your own tablet, laptop, or smartphone — and sending a live TV signal over WiFi.

“The NBC Sports channels, NFL Network, Major League Baseball,” he says. “And there are some business and news channels in there, as well.”

Southwest is testing prices between $3 and $8.

It should be on 20 planes to start, with plans to add it to all WiFi-enabled flights by the end of the year.

Several airlines do offer seatback TV screens, but it’s free only on Virgin America and Jet Blue.

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