Real Cloud computing
Internet addicts rejoice, because Google has teamed up with Virgin America Airlines to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers throughout the winter holiday season.
In the spirit of festive cheer, Virgin America passengers will be able to surf the big free net in the sky to their heart's content between Nov 10 and Jan 15, 2010, using the GoGo Inflight Internet service. All passengers will be able to access the web from their laptop or other Internet enabled device, just as soon as the captain switches off the pesky "fasten seat belt" sign.
Wi-Fi on planes is not exactly something new, and Virgin America has been offering the service since May 2009, but usually passengers are charged between $5.96 and $12.95 for the privilege, depending on flight time.
Virgin America reckons only some 12 to 15 per cent of its passengers currently stump up the cash for in-flight Wi-Fi, but the firm is hoping this new Google promotion will serve to persuade more punters of the necessity of sky high emailing and Facebook poking.
Virgin America's vice president of marketing, Porter Gale, said his firm was "thrilled to team up with Google" and "deliver this special holiday gift to our loyal guests." Gale added, he hoped "it persuades more new users to try out the service - as once people try Gogo, they rarely go back."
But despite the current low number of in-flight internet adopters, a recent Virgin sponsored survey claimed that 53 per cent of passengers carried a laptop with them on board, whilst half of the respondents also indicated that the availability of WiFi would potentially seriously impact their choice of airline carrier.
Setting itself up as the Internet air hostess with the mostest, Virgin America is also quick to point out it offers all passengers both standard power outlets near every single seat, so passengers won't have to endure any in-flight power crashes.