AirTran to pull the plug on onboard satellite radio

In 2005, AirTran Airways became the first U.S. airline to offer passengers satellite radio among the in-flight entertainment options.

But the XM satellite radio is about to be pulled out of AirTran planes as the airline gets swallowed up by its new parent company, Southwest Airlines, which acquired AirTran in May 2011.

“The decision to remove XM satellite radio from the AirTran fleet was not taken lightly, and it’s another step in the integration of offering a consistent product between Southwest and AirTran,” said Katie McDonald, a Southwest spokeswoman. She added that customer research has found that most customers prefer to listen to music and entertainment on their own media devices.

“With the cost of fuel at all-time highs,” McDonald added, “losing the weight of the XM equipment will help reduce our fuel costs.”


AirTran Airways is fined $60,000 for deceptive advertising of prices

Southwest in $1.4-billion deal to buy AirTran

Airlines expected to increase onboard offerings