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Southwest Airlines said it will spend more than $2 billion on better amenities for passengers, such as larger overhead bins, faster internet and “at every seat” power outlets, in an effort to lure travelers as bookings recover .
The airline also plans to double the number of movies it offers travelers and update its inflight beverage options to include Bloody Mary mixes, ready-to-drink cocktails, sparkling mineral water and rosé wine.
The changes come as airlines prepare to rebound from both leisure and business travel after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
united airlinesfor example, announced last year a series of cabin upgrades such as new screens in the backrests and entertainment systems. It is also preparing cabins for larger top compartments. delta airlines it is installing new seats for domestic first class and has said it intends to offer free internet in the future. Y Hawaiian Airlines plans to offer Free WIFI through SpaceX’s Starlink service starting next year.
Southwest’s $2 billion investment will span five years and is part of an estimated capital expenditure of $3.5 billion per year on average through 2026, as announced in December. The changes are aimed at all customers, but Southwest has recently increased its efforts to sell to business travelers.
In March, the airline announced a new, second cheapest fare option for travelers willing to pay more for more flexibility. Last week, he told staff he will temporarily offer travelers free Wi-Fi on some flights while he tests new hardware that aims to bring higher speeds to more passengers, CNBC reported.
The operator also said that it recently signed an agreement with the satellite Internet provider. Viasat for in-flight connectivity beginning this fall, beginning with new deliveries of 737 Max aircraft. Southwest offers Internet for $8 a day and currently has no plans to make access free beyond the hardware trial.
Southwest, which has a fleet of more than 700 Boeing 737s, estimates it will have in-seat power, something it doesn’t currently offer, on about 250 planes by the end of 2023. Power outlets will be available early next year. on Max aircraft and feature USB A and USB C power ports.