Row 44 and a golden ticket

“Y’all are my first email from SWA Wifi.  It’s awesome! Speed is good. Customers obviously luv it.”

Southwest WiFi.jpg

And with that simple email to Southwest’s executive planning committee, company CEO Gary Kelly issued in a new era for the low-cost giant and the industry as a whole.

Southwest, the carrier that has prided itself on offering the barest of bare bones service has officially upped the ante in the in-flight sector, bringing Row 44′s high-speed connectivity to passengers.

Row 44′s is the very first Ku-band-based service to come to the commercial market since Connexion by Boeing shuttered its operations at the end of 2006.

The Row 44 system went live today amid an avalanche of protests from Row 44′s rivals, which do not believe the California-based company has the appropriate FCC authority to launch commercial trials on Southwest or Alaska, which by the way is next in the queue.

Thumbnail image for Golden Ticket.JPGBut today, as Southwest formally began those trials on a single Boeing 737 (after a few informal tests), the controversy that has surrounded Row 44′s ambitious plan subsided for a moment as the industry took in the gravity of situation.

Southwest, the engine that could, has given Row 44 its stamp of approval. That’s huge. The carrier will equip three more aircraft by early March. Passengers can use the service for free until the FCC grants permanent approval to Row 44. 

And so, despite plenty of prior obstacles, and with the spectre of many more ahead, Row 44 – like Aircell before it - gets a golden ticket. That makes two. There were five tickets, remember? But who will be the ultimately triumphant Charlie Bucket?

Well, we’ve got three more tickets to award and a factory tour to take first! 


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3 Responses to Row 44 and a golden ticket

  1. alloycowboy February 11, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Morning Mary,

    Got this little tidbit in my Design Week daily email.

    “Priestman Goode creates Swiss airline first-class suite.”



  2. Mary Kirby February 11, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Thanks so much. I mentioned the suite in my first video blog, but I think I need to give this design firm a call. I’m writing an interiors feature for Flight in advance of Hamburg and this suite is sweet!!! How about those IFE screens?

  3. wholesale nhl jerseys January 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I cant believe the nba basketball is going to risk losing one of the best players in his prime to the nba basketball.

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