SAN FRANCISCO – Virgin America, the first airline in the U.S. to offer fleetwide WiFi in the skies, today announces it is teaming up with Google’s Chrome browser team to offer free Gogo® Inflight Internet for all its guests during the holiday season. The two California companies known for innovation, entrepreneurialism and for connecting people in new ways have come together for the second consecutive year to give Virgin America flyers the gift of in-flight connection during the holiday travel season. From November 20, 2010-January 2, 2011, guests on all Virgin America flights will be able to check email, stay in touch with family and friends via social media, or just go wherever the web takes them – all for free.
“As the only airline based in Silicon Valley, in-flight WiFi has been popular with our guests since we launched it on our first aircraft in November of 2008,” said David Cush, President and CEO of Virgin America. “Both business and leisure travelers are logging on at a growing rate, and many travelers consider the availability of in-flight WiFi one of the key factors in their booking decision. We saw a jump in the number of guests logging on after last year’s free WiFi gift and we expect to see an increase again. Once people try WiFi at 35,000 feet they rarely go back.”
Virgin America is the first airline in the U.S. to offer both standard power outlets near every seat and fleet-wide WiFi. Launched on its first aircraft in November 2008 and rolled out to its entire fleet by May 2009, the airline sees up to one-third of guests on some long-haul flights logging on to Gogo. Although guests traveling on any of Virgin America’s flights from November 20, 2010-January 2, 2011, will enjoy free web access via their laptops, PDAs, or iPads, Gogo is normally available for $12.95 for flights of over three hours; $9.95 for flights between 1.5 and three hours; $4.95 for short haul flights of less than 1.5 hours; and handheld/PDA pricing of $7.95 for flights over 1.5 hours and $4.95 for short flights. Monthly passes on Virgin America are also available for $29.95 for laptops and $19.95 for handhelds.
Since launching in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry best-in-class awards, including “Best Domestic Airline” in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards. The airline offers flyers mood-lit cabins, standard power outlets near every seat and the Red™ in-flight entertainment system – the largest and most advanced personal touch-screen entertainment platform in the skies. The Red platform offers 700+ hours of entertainment content, including the ability to build playlists from over 3,000 MP3s, 30 on-demand films, live and premium TV, interactive Google Maps, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, a first-of-its-kind digital Shop section and an on-demand menu – so guests can order a cocktail or meal from their seatback any time during a flight.
Virgin America is known for its tech-friendly amenities and stylish design. In November 2008, Virgin America launched Gogo Inflight Internet on its first flight with a first ever “air-to-ground” video stream to YouTube Live – YouTube’s first official real-world user event. In May of 2009, the airline completed the roll-out of its WiFi service across its fleet and celebrated the milestone with a live streamed chat between Oprah Winfrey in her studio audience and a Virgin America plane at 35,000 feet over the California coast. In June 2009, the airline also teamed up with Google for the first-ever online and “in the clouds” web-based scavenger hunt, using in-flight WiFi.
For more on the free holiday WiFi initiative, please visit: www.freeholidaywifi.com