Travel

Southwest adds live music concerts to select flights. Not everyone is on board

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2016, file photo, a Southwest Airlines jet makes its approach to Dallas Love Field airport, in Dallas.
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2016, file photo, a Southwest Airlines jet makes its approach to Dallas Love Field airport, in Dallas. AP

Listening to music is typically a great way to pass the time on a long flight.

But usually that music comes from the passenger’s own personal earbuds, not from live musicians at the front of the cabin.

Southwest Airlines has a promotion in place that could change that, as it inked a partnership with Warner Music Nashville, Billboard first reported Thursday. The most notable byproduct of that deal? Pop-up, live music concerts on Southwest flights.

Southwest’s “Live at 35” concert series has actually been around since 2011, according to Billboard, picking up occasional media attention since then.

Reception in light of Southwest’s recent deal with WMN has ranged from annoyed to outraged.

An AV Club headline called the idea a “new innovation in in-flight misery.” Vice also gave a scathing review of the “literally inescapable” performances.

The “Live at 35” page on Southwest’s site chronicles skybound performances by 13 artists (genres ranging from country to alternative rock) along with the flight route of their shows. Five of them either arrived or departed from Denver International. One act, the Strumbellas, went from Sacramento International to Midway in Chicago.

One of these concerts – by the band SafetySuit – was intended as a celebration of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, an addition to Southwest’s fleet that the company claims will lead to an improved “music-infused Customer Experience onboard flights.”

Twitter users also had plenty to say – almost all of it negative.

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