Southwest brings more live music to the sky: WHY?!?

Love live country music in flight? Better book more with Southwest Airlines. The carrier and Warner Music Nashville re-upped on a partnership contract this week that includes a corporate travel booking arrangement and, more significant for everyone who isn’t a WMN employee or performer, more pop-up performances on flights.

[T]he Live at 35 series has only grown in popularity over the past six years, as Southwest passengers hope that their flight will be one of the lucky ones to feature a sure-to-go-viral performance.

And so here’s what I want to know: Who are these Southwest passengers that 1) Know this program exists; and, 2) Really want to have it happen on their flights?? Also, if I send you some drink chits I have laying around will you change your mind about #2?

These types of events are rare, I know. The carrier has 4,000-ish daily flights and only 13 concerts have occurred in the 2ish years the program has been alive. Which mostly leads back to my question #1 above. Does anyone really focus on this as a thing??

Then again, Southwest doesn’t have much in the way of inflight entertainment on board and is known for letting the crew put on performances. Maybe using professional entertainers will be an upgrade?

Southwest isn’t the only airline that’s done special events like this in the sky, of course. JetBlue has more than a few under its belt, ranging from a recent beer tasting to the “Reach Across the Aisle” campaign last year that used politics as a means to get everyone on board to agree on a single destination in order to all win free tickets to visit.

There was also the FlyBabies campaign.

Lufthansa recently hosted a fashion show in the sky and Icelandair recently hosted a bizarre live history performance on a journey from London to the US. Plus Virgin America did a fashion show once, too.

And, again, those are incredibly rare events.

There have been a few I’ve gone out of my way to attend, of course. Mostly route inaugurals and such where I know (or at least suspect) what I’m getting myself in to. But I also know that no airline is stupid enough to plan such things around my obsession with such.

And maybe there’s a reason they’re so rare: It is a moderate pain in the ass and cost to set one up but the real challenge is that most passengers simply DO NOT WANT THAT HAPPENING. It would be cool if more airlines understood that.

Then again, Southwest is getting plenty of publicity for this stunt and it doesn’t have to give up much to host one of the concerts on board. Just a dozen or so seats blocked off from inventory should be sufficient.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. If I found out that there was going to be live country music on a flight I was about to board, I would do everything in my power to find another flight. I don’t think my QC35s would properly drown it out.

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