Southwest nails down in-flight WiFi partnership, whole fleet to be lit by 2012

It's about time, ain't it? Southwest -- which is easily one of the most enjoyable airlines to fly on here in the States -- has finally cemented its in-flight WiFi plans after more than two full years of hemming, hawing and testing. A fresh blog posting on the airline's website clues us in on exactly how difficult to road to this day has been, but a finalized partnership with Row 44 will allow wireless equipment to be installed into 15 aircraft per month starting in Q2 of this year. In time, the company will ramp that up to 25 per month, which should mean that its entire fleet of 540 planes will be outfitted for mile-high web access by "early 2012." We're still being kept in the dark when it comes to pricing, but Southwest assures us that it's still "testing a variety of price points on the four aircraft that currently have WiFi" and that a decision will be made in a few more months.

Update: Tipster MJK just hit us up with this tidbit, and if Southwest keeps this kind of pricing in tact, it could very well start a price war with the legacy carriers who charge upwards of $13 per flight for access."I took a trip from Los Angeles to Albuquerque recently and they charged $4 for the entire trip. It's just around two hours but it was indeed fast WiFi."