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Southwest Airlines Is Adding Two New Highly Requested Features To Their Planes

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Travelers on Southwest Airlines can expect to see two new features rolled out on upcoming flights.

While Southwest has been in the news for negative reasons recently, the airline once enjoyed a more favorable reputation and had been voted the best low-cost carrier in the United States.

Southwest Airplane

However, after a technical meltdown in December 2022 that caused the cancellation of more than 16,700 flights, many travelers have been wary about booking a flight on Southwest Airlines.

Southwest has been working to restore its reputation, and the airline recently announced the arrival of two highly requested features on its planes.

Here's what's coming soon to Southwest Airlines:

Southwest Airplane Wing

USB Charging Ports

One of the most exciting features coming to new Southwest planes is USB charging ports.

A huge downside to Southwest planes has been the lack of charging ports or electrical outlets. Unless you remembered to bring a portable charger on your flight, you were out of luck when it came to charging your phone, laptop, tablet, or other device.

According to reports, a Boeing 737 MAX plane that is part of Southwest's fleet was recently equipped with new charging ports. Each seat now features a 60-watt USB-C charging port and a 10.5-watt USB-A charging port.

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Southwest plane flying against a blue sky

This means you will be able to charge your phone and laptop or tablet simultaneously.

Based on a statement from Ryan Green, Southwest's Chief Marketing Officer, more than 250 planes will be equipped with charging ports by the end of 2023, out of Southwest's fleet of nearly 800 planes.

This will come as welcome news to business travelers and all other travelers who need the ability to keep their devices charged onboard their flight.

Charging Ports

Larger Overhead Bins

Another new feature coming to Southwest planes is larger overhead bins.

Southwest Airlines is well-known for offering up to two free checked bags and one free carry-on bag (plus a personal item) on all flights.

Many other low-cost carriers charge sky-high hidden fees for even bringing a carry-on bag, so this has been one area where Southwest has always stood out from its competitors.

wing southwest

According to Southwest's announcement of their upcoming customer experience enhancements, passengers can expect expanded overhead bin space on new planes.

All new planes from Boeing are being delivered with larger overhead bins, so passengers will have more room to stash their carry-on luggage.

Although Southwest plans to continue offering free checked bags, travelers will have increased flexibility to bring carry-on luggage with expanded overhead bin space.

woman loading bag in plane

What Else Does Southwest Offer?

Another feature that Southwest announced is improved WiFi on flights, with upgrades for existing planes and high-speed Viasat WiFi on all new planes.

While Southwest does charge for WiFi, it's a flat rate of $8 per flight, which is lower than the cost of WiFi on many other airlines.

However, Southwest has not made any announcements to offer free WiFi to travelers. Currently, JetBlue and Delta Air Lines are the only U.S. airlines that offer free WiFi on flights.

southwest planes

Southwest also offers free soda, coffee, and snacks on flights longer than 176 miles, something that many other low-cost carriers do not. Southwest also offers no change fees or cancellation fees for maximum flexibility.

These latest updates coming to Southwest flights come in addition to a number of new flight routes that have been launched in 2023.

Most recently, Southwest announced four new routes, including international flights to Cabo and Montego Bay from the United States. For travelers looking for an affordable and comfortable flight, Southwest may offer the best experience on both domestic and international flights.

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