Southwest Airlines offers in-flight text messaging services

Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration announced passengers were allowed to use their mobile devices on commercial airlines. Since this rule was changed, airlines have been working on launch programs that enables cell phone use during flights.

Ranging from Wi-Fi capabilities use to text messaging apps on phones, it may take some time for other carriers to have a product that works like Southwest Airlines — this carrier relies on satellite-based Wi-Fi connectivity, the Denver Post reported.

Now, customers who are dependent on their cell phones to complete daily tasks will be able to continue doing so if they choose to fly on Southwest Airlines. Businesses that have advertisements on Southwest's airline magazines have an opportunity to engage with passengers with a text alert.

The first phase of Southwest Airlines' program will be open to Apple devices running on iOS 5 software or higher, which will cost customers $2. Wi-Fi and text messaging services are $8. Android phone users will have to wait until 2014 for this perk.

"To use the service, customers still must put their devices in airplane mode and then connect to Southwest's network," Denver Post contributor Kristen Painter wrote. "Once the airline's home screen appears, passengers can select between web browsing and messaging for a fee."

Other commercial air carriers are still utilizing ground-to-plane Wi-Fi networks, which does not allow any access until the plane is above 10,000 feet during its ascent and descent, the source explained. 

While it may be some time before this technology is spread across all airlines, SMS marketing is a valuable resource for companies year-round, regardless if the customer is on an airplane or not.