In the case of Southwest Airlines, those services include Internet access — $8 for all-day access per device — as well as live and on-demand TV provided via Dish. (On-demand movies are also available, but for a separate charge.) You're able to watch that content on your own tablet or smartphone, a more sensible solution than setback monitors given Southwest's dense seating arrangements.
Southwest also uses Row 44's networking setup to providing a messaging service via Apple's iMessage software, with support for other chat apps coming soon. Southwest says you can use approved Wi-Fi-enabled devices gate-to-gate on its planes.
The setup I saw in the Global Eagle Albatross Thursday morning mirrored the same system that delivers Wi-Fi connectivity in Southwest's fleet. So it was sort of a hoot to step on a Southwest plane on my flight out of Las Vegas later that evening and hear about the same services I saw demoed on a 60-year-old seaplane. I'm just glad that the Southwest 737 I was on didn't attempt to pull off its own water landing on Lake Mead.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.