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Southwest, Dish offer loaner iPads for in-flight TV

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. says passengers on some routes can now borrow an iPad 2 at the airport to watch on-demand TV during the flight.

It’s an expansion of a deal that the airline has with Dish satellite TV.

Dish Network Corp. said Tuesday that the offer will apply to Southwest customers who are flying on WiFi-enabled planes between Chicago’s Midway Airport, Denver and Oakland, Calif.

Passengers will be able to check out the tablet computers, watch free live programming on the plane, and return the device at the end of the flight. And sign up for Dish service at home.

A spokeswoman for Dish said the company was providing about 200 iPads at each of the three airports. They must be checked out at a booth in the terminal and can’t be reserved ahead of time, she said.

Dish and Southwest announced in July that passengers would be able to watch certain live TV networks on their own devices for free on most Southwest planes, with Dish picking up the tab for the promotion through the end of the year. Southwest had been charging $5 a day for a similar service.



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