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Wait… an airline is bringing back a FREE service? What?

For years it’s been the trend for airlines to nickel and dime us to death, tacking on charges for things like carry on bags, early boarding and seat assignments.

But one free service is starting to catch on. Recently, Southwest Airlines became the latest airline to announce they’ll offer free messaging in flight.

The one catch is you have to be using an app. This free service doesn’t work with standard text messaging. If you have an iPhone, you use an app whether or not you even know it. It’s called iMessage and it works via the internet. Other apps that are usually supported are What’sApp and Viber.

Besides Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Delta, and United also offer free messaging. It’s helpful if you have someone picking you up at the airport so you can give them arrival updates.

So, while it may not be that much of a savings, every little bit helps. At least its a start in the right direction. Right?

Rich Fields is a veteran radio broadcaster who is best known for having been the Announcer on the Price is Right. He is also an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist .