America & Google have teamed up to offer free In-flight Wi-Fi Internet access
for the Holiday season. This free holiday season In-flight internet access will
being 10 November 2009 and end on 15 January 2010
media release from Virgin America can be read below:
America, the airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today announced an exclusive
partnership with Google to offer free in-flight WiFi to all of its guests
during the holidays. The two California-based companies known for innovation,
entrepreneurialism and for connecting people in new ways, have again joined
forces to give Virgin America fliers the gift of in-flight connection during
the holiday travel season. From Nov. 10, 2009-Jan. 15, 2010, guests on all
Virgin America flights will be able to check email, gift shop online, stay in
touch with family and friends via social media, or just go wherever the web
takes them – all for free. In May, Virgin America became the first airline to
offer Gogo® Inflight Internet service on every flight.
“Since the launch of WiFi on all of our planes,
we’ve seen an overwhelmingly positive response from travelers,” said Porter Gale,
Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America. “We’ve found that both business
and leisure travelers are using the service at a growing rate, and many
consider the availability of in-flight WiFi one of the key factors in their
booking decision. We’re thrilled to team up with Google to deliver this
special holiday gift to our loyal guests. We also hope it persuades more
new users to try out the service –as once people try Gogo, they rarely go
America is the first airline to offer both standard power outlets near every
seat and fleet-wide Gogo Inflight Internet service. The airline
estimates that currently 12-15 percent of its guests are using the Gogo
service. On some of the airline’s long-haul routes (like BOS-SFO), the
carrier is reporting that up to 20-25 percent of guests on a given flight are
“As millions of people pass through airports
this holiday season in order to celebrate with their families, we wanted to
give our users a gift – one that makes their travel easier and more
convenient,” said Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search
Products and User Experience at Google.
“The fundamental power of the Internet is in
connecting people, and we hope that having a free WiFi connection while enroute
will make home and family seem that much closer.”
survey of Virgin America frequent fliers showed that guests are using WiFi in a
variety of ways and consider the ability to stay connected a key in-flight
amenity. Top-line results from the survey* include:
- More than
half of respondents said that the availability of WiFi would influence their
choice of airline.
availability of in-flight power outlets is also a factor for many in choosing
to fly with Virgin America.
- 72% agreed
that VOIP should continue to be blocked to keep the cabin environment quiet.
- 53% of
respondents carry a laptop on board. Of those that connected to Gogo, 88%
used a laptop.
- Email is the
most popular activity while using in-flight WiFi, followed by working remotely
and social media.
guests traveling on any of Virgin America’s over 100 daily flights from Nov.
10, 2009 – Jan. 15, 2010, will enjoy free web access via their laptops or PDAs,
the Gogo service is normally available for $12.95 for flights of over three
hours; $9.95 for flights between 1.5 and three hours; $5.95 for short haul
flights of less than 1.5 hours and handheld/PDA pricing of $7.95 for flights
over 1.5 hours.
launching in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry
best-in-class awards, including “Best Domestic Airline” in Condé Nast
Traveler’s 2008 and 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s
2008 and 2009 World’s Best Awards. Virgin America offers travelers
unrivalled amenities, low fares and high-tech features. Virgin America’s
mood-lit, custom-designed new cabins feature more comfortable, ergonomically
correct leather seats and Red ™ – the most advanced entertainment system in the
U.S. skies. Red is a touch-screen seatback entertainment platform that
offers 25 films, live TV, interactive Google Maps, music videos, video games, a
3000 MP3 library and more.
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