WiFi does belong in the sky
Starting on Virgin America flights on November 15 to January 15, passengers will experience free inflight wifi courtesy of Google. Google sees wifi as a way of easing stress during the holiday seasons. Normally, passengers would have to pay $8 – $13 for wifi on the planes with rates depending on the device to be connected and the duration of the flight.
I think this is great news for US domestic travelers. I flew on Virgin America for the first time last year from San Francisco to New York with my family. Everything from booking the flight to boarding was great. Check in was hassle free and they even played music while you were boarding the plane. Overhead compartments were spacious enough to accommodate my mom’s trolley and there’s power in every seat. The infight entertainment was provided by the Dish Network by beaming satellite TV programming live to the plane. Ordering meals from your seat was also simple. Instead of pushing the food cart up and down the aisle, you just input your order on their linux based entertainment system, be it just water or beer, swipe your credit card and the flight attendant hands the beverage to you. There are also USB and power sockets in almost every seat so you can run your ipod or laptop throughout the flight. The only gripe I have with the flight was the passenger behind you keeps pushing the buttons on the touch screen right behind your head which makes it very annoying especially through a six hour flight. But other than that it’s a really nice flight. You check in the international terminal which means you don’t see the terribly long lines through check in and airport security and baggage claim.
The wifi wasn’t available yet when I flew but I do hope that other companies will continue to “sponsor” free wifi on airplanes.
This is the way to fly.