Google offers free WiFi for Virgin America

Google offers free WiFi for Virgin America

Virgin America has announced a partnership with Google to offer free in-flight WiFi to all passengers during the holiday season.

From Nov. 10, 2009-Jan. 15, 2010, flyers will be able to check email and use the internet for free. In May, Virgin America began it’s Gogo Inflight Internet service across all services.

“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.”

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 the carrier is reporting that up to 20-25 percent of guests on a given flight are logging in. 

Google says to expect speeds similar to mobile broadband on the ground but the capabilities of Gogo WiFi when everyone is surfing should be an interesting test for all concerned.