NBC, Southwest Partner On Weather Info

Southwest Airlines and NBC Universal have launched a partnership that the airline hopes will inform its travelers, while the network is looking for greater exposure for one of its emerging brands.

The airline's site, Southwest.com, will now include a link to NBC's Weather Plus online service, part of a digital multicast TV network. Travelers can get updated information on locations via forecasts and maps.

Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines vice president of marketing, sales and distribution, said the carrier is "constantly exploring initiatives" to upgrade its online offering. Launched in 1995, early in the airlines' aggressive e-commerce Web push, the robust site is critical for Southwest--a budget airline--as a way to cut costs.

In-flight entertainment has been a staple of co-partnerships between airlines and media companies for some time. The new deal may signal expansion online.

Cheryl Winer, sales leader at NBC Weather Plus, said: "Travel and weather go hand in hand, and we're delighted that Weather Plus can now add to the quality and convenience of the Southwest travel experience."

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