Southwest Hawaii Wifi

Southwest Hawaii Flights Among First With Onboard Chargers, Faster Wifi, Bigger Bins

Southwest announced a lot of changes today to improve customer service that will benefit Hawaii visitors. That to the tune of $2 billion. These changes will arrive to a large degree faster and much more on Southwest Hawaii flights to other places. Read on for details and why that’s true.

Southwest seeks to “transform the customer experience.”

Southwest said they’ll be bringing significant upgrades, that will be especially beneficial on Southwest Hawaii flights, which are by nature among the longest durations the airline offers.

“Top of our list is giving our Customers reliable connections in the air to those things that are important and accessible to them on the ground,” said Ryan Green, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re investing in our onboard connectivity and bandwidth available to each Customer with upgraded technology that’s now installing across our existing fleet, a strategy to diversify our WiFi vendors on upcoming aircraft deliveries, and plugging Southwest Customers into in-seat power to keep them charged while in the air.”

Why Southwest Hawaii flights will benefit most.

Southwest uses Boeing 737 Max aircraft extensively for their Hawaii flights. The reasons are clear. Most importantly, the planes have in the range of 10–12 % lower fuel burn than do the next generation 737 planes which they replace. These are specifically the planes that will receive Southwest’s Luv.

WiFi upgrade.

The airline is testing new and improved Wifi. They have already equipped 40 planes with the new faster service that’s designed to be offered free of charge. The testing is to ensure that the service functions as planned when it’s available to all passengers without cost. The plan is to have one-half of the fleet so equipped by this fall. The company currently charges $8 per day for their WiFi.

Onboard charging/power ports.

You’ve complained in many comments about the lack of charging ports on long 5+ hour Southwest Hawaii flights. Good news here is that these will arrive on Southwest planes starting in 2023, and they’ll come to Hawaii faster than elsewhere. The reason is that they’ll only be installed in their fleet of Boeing 737 MAX planes. Those planes are in wide use for Hawaii flights in part because they are far more economical to operate than the Next Gen planes which they are replacing.

Until this comes, passengers have had to rely on their own chargers or risk losing power on their phones and other devices. Southwest plans to have up to 250 planes so outfitted by 2023. They are to be installed at the seatback of every seat.

Whether those could also be retrofitted for non-Max planes isn’t clear.

Larger overhead bins will be most helpful on Southwest Hawaii flights.

Also coming to MAX planes, Southwest is adding the “Space Bins” offered by manufacturer Boeing. Those too, will begin to arrive in 2023 and can hold 50% more bags, according to Boeing.

More beverage and entertainment options, but still no food.

The airline said it plans to add new beverage options, especially alcoholic ones starting on Hawaii flights this fall. Southwest also said it’ll greatly increase the free movie options on its streaming entertainment system. With that in mind, it’s a good thing that they also plan to offer chargers. Also, a flight tracking app including 3D views will be added.

Regarding meals on long Southwest Hawaii flights, nothing has changed, and neither free nor paid meals are offered. So you may well want to pack your own.

We always like to hear your take on Southwest Hawaii flights and offerings.


19 thoughts on “Southwest Hawaii Flights Among First With Onboard Chargers, Faster Wifi, Bigger Bins”

  1. Southwest Airlines may be adding new features in the future, but it seems they are also cutting back on flights to Hawaii. I’ve flown them 4 times in the past 12 months from San Diego to Maui and the flights have been great, though not very full. Now I see that Southwest will stop flying the SAN-OGG nonstops as of early June. Is this is new trend in reduced flights to the islands by Southwest?

  2. I just have a question do you have to pay for the leis or is this something that the southwest airlines gives you

  3. Hi, my family and I have been enjoying direct flights from
    LAX to LIH since it started. However, I noticed that you no longer fly this route in Fall 2022? Is this being discontinued?

  4. Larger seat with more cushion and more arm rooms d. it so close to the person next to you and more seat recliner for longer flights footrest would be nice or two rows for family the four rows aren’t very comfortable to packed together thx! Wish you could pick your own seats also first time on southwest .thanks!

  5. The seats on the SW Max are not as nice as the 800ER also, the Max is more narrow than the 800ER. The Max does have a better range/fuel economy than most Hawaiian bound aircraft. But, it’s slower, this is most noticeable in the head on jet stream from the mainland to Hawaii.
    I too read about the upcoming upgrades to the SW Max aircraft. I think it will take longer than what SW had to say.
    Aloha Guys

  6. I flew SWA from San Diego to Maui and found the Max 8 seats were very comfortable with more legroom than most other airlines I have flown. There were many choices for entertainment to watch and plenty of snacks. I have no complaints and would fly SWA again.

  7. Just returned from from using PHX-HNL-PHX SWA nonstop. The NONSTOP is what appealed to me. PHX-HNL delayed several hrs due to plane problems. Then substituted smaller plane requiring stop at LAX for fuel. No charging ports so media battery died due yo fuel stop. BIG COMPLAINT: If we were told about how long the delay was and the required fuel stop earlier, I would have opted for a different flight. Starting our long-awaited vacay so stressed did not induce an ALOHA spirit.

    1. Many of their 737’s (not the Max)have fuel issues when the Winter Jetstreams kick in. It’s a weight and balance issue that I’m guessing is exasperated by being the airline that doesn’t charge for bags (extra weight). I recall a weight and balance issue with the FAA they had when they first started flying to Hawaii.

  8. I think there’s gonna be some nice snacks on Hawaiian airlines like I will bring banana 🍌 😋 with me and 1 snack or candy

  9. Southwest is still Southwest. Just a big school bus in the sky. I have flown with them throughout the Country on and off through out the years. If you are willing to sacrifice comfort for cheap seats, this is great.

    I could not imagine sitting on a Southwest flight for 5 hours. I’ll pay an extra $100 for a nice seat, a meal and free entertainment on Hawaiian Airlines. My vacations start in the plane.


    1. Not sure why you think the seats are uncomfortable… the max has amazing legroom and the widest economy seat in the sky. The seats are superior to Hawaii. I flew Hawaiian and while the people were nice, they ran out of what they called a meal, had no WiFi, and extremely bad legroom. I’ve had to fly in premium economy just to get the same legroom offered for free on Southwest. Granted the 700’s aren’t the greatest since they added an extra row but still good

    2. I’m confused. Southwest’s Max has more legroom and wider seats than Hawaiian’s. The seats are comfy as well. SWA always offers free texting, movies, TV shows, and live TV. Their crews are some of the happiest around. I will choose SWA for my frequent LAX-OGG flights anyday!!

  10. Aloha friends! I usually don’t pick SWA to fly on the mainland unless I need to check luggage (hello, no extra fee!), but try as much as I can to fly with them going to/from HI. They have the best free entertainment (on your own device), and I can turn in luggage if I want – my last SWA trip OGG to LGB was one of the most comfortable yet – although I wasn’t fond of the stop along the way. I cannot wait until they kick in non-stop to Maui!

    1. We have flown LGB-OGG on flight flight 71 and return OGG-LGB, no stops. Where did you stop for fuel? I suppose a quick stop could be made at Hilo if you had a full plane, baggage and severe headwinds.

      1. Aloha Jim, on the day we’re traveling (Sept 29) there aren’t any non-stops from OGG to LGB – our stop is in HNL

  11. Because of the pandemic we had a bunch of credit with SWA. We travel with them up and down the West Coast. Took a chance and booked some inexpensive tickets SAN-HNL with the funds.

    We agreed that we’d never do that again. I don’t mind the lining up, seats and lack of service on short flights but it was awful for six hours. We paid up and ended up with exit aisle seats (husband is 6’4″) and it was still terrible.

    Back to Alaska or Hawaiian.

    1. SWA has decided Hawaii was a good place to create growth and add a good destination for their frequent flier milers. They brought their product to Hawaii and are trying to fit in where they are not needed. Hawaii cannot handle their “SWA Effect” of trying to swamp a market. When I see their marketing of trying to promote themselves in Hawaii all I can think of is cultural appropriation. They are like someone moving here and speaking pidgin. Bad fit for Hawaii.


Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top