Southwest Airlines Unveils Long-awaited USB Ports on Planes

The charging ports are both USB A and USB C, to provide power for a variety of technology and devices.

Passengers will soon have a new amenity on their next Southwest Airlines flight: power. 

The popular low-cost carrier have debuted seat-back USB charging ports on their 737 MAX aircraft. The charging ports are both the USB A and USB C, to provide power for a variety of technology and devices. 

The onboard updates were announced in May 2022, along with the news of enhanced WiFi and larger overhead bins.

“As we continue to welcome back loyal Customers and win new ones, these initiatives, combined with the best People in the industry, support our Purpose of connecting People to what's most important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel," Southwest CEO Bob Jordan said in a statement at the time of the announcement.

The lack of power in seats on Southwest’s aircraft has been a frustration of frequent flyers over the last several years on social media. 

USB port on Southwest plane

However, complaints will soon be a thing of the past as the technology is rolled out across the fleet. 

“Southwest is installing the latest-generation onboard USB A and USB C power ports on every seat in our aircraft, with a space-saving system that will not compromise legroom. We’re bringing this new convenience and capability onboard 737 MAX aircraft beginning this year.” Southwest shared in a statement to Travel+Leisure. 

Over 126 million passengers flew on Southwest Airlines in 2022, according to the company’s annual report. During the 2022 Holiday Season, Southwest suffered operational issues due to significant flight cancelations

In-flight power has become a popular perk for air travel. United Airlines offers power outlets, and USB charging ports on select flights, according to the company's website. Delta Airlines also offers in-flight power, and recently rolled out free, in-flight wifi on select flights.

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