Southwest Airlines offering in-flight iMessage access for $2

With your iPhone or iPad you're already able to use iMessage on in-flight WiFi in the U.S. already, but Southwest Airlines is today making it easier for its passengers by offering a new, reduced rate iMessage only plan. Until now, keeping in touch with your iMessage buddies on the plane has required the purchase of a full WiFi package, but starting today for just $2 Southwest passengers can forego this and just get their iMessage on.

For folks who need to keep in touch while they flight this is a great option without the added cost of a full WiFi package, and Southwest has also said that it will be looking at extending the service to some Android messaging services in the future. Any Southwest flyers out there attracted to this new deal?

Source: Southwest Airlines

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Southwest Airlines offering in-flight iMessage access for $2

13 Comments

This is a nice gesture. Is it permanent option or just a seasonal opportunity?

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Doesn't seem that appealing. This would have to be an extreme situation that I need to send message to someone on the flight. But, I'm sure someone can find the use for this.

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Given how big the U.S. is, if I was travelling coast-to-coast alone I'd love to be able to chat to my wife through iMessage :)

Not that I'm ever likely to fly Southwest. Or very often anywhere in the U.S. for that matter :P

Richard, how do they allow iMessage to work, but not other internet traffic? Are they partnering with Apple on this?

I would imagine by allowing only iMessage servers to be contacted, and blocking any other websites.

Texting would be plenty of entertainment for me on most flights so I really like this idea. I've used wifi onboard before it isn't bad but it wasn't very reliable for me. Southwest also offers free Dish TV which is pretty cool, I used it a couple of months ago. And for one of the earlier commenters, WiFi onboard planes is the opposite of free for the airline, equipment adds weight and power draw from the engines, pay for GoGo service who pays for retransmission on terrestrial cellular networks or satellite relay. If I flew more it would be worth it for me to buy a subscription to the service but flight by flight it's pretty expensive for just casual browsing. If you're working then not so much.

Great for the people I know that also use iPhones, but useless for those who don't use iOS devices to communicate with. Still only a partial solution.

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Completely agree. If I'm limited to only apple devices then I'm not sure how often I would use this.

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I travel 90% of the time so this is a nice option. I travel Delta so I use GoGo to work and message during my flight but if I didn't need full access, the $2 option is the way to go!

On the way to Florida last week I paid something like $15 for Internet access on Delta. I then mostly just used iMessage the whole flight. If there was a $2 iMessage option that probably would have been adequate for me. Kind of a no-brainer unless I'm sure I'm going to want to do something else on the flight, like email.