Virgin America Taps AirCell for In-flight 'Net
Virgin America said Thursday that it had reached an agreement with AirCell to bring wireless broadband to its planes beginning some time next year.
The airline announced at launch in August that it will eventually provide wireless broadband Internet to its passengers, but had given no date as to its availability. The Internet will either be accessible via the wireless network or through the in-flight entertainment systems at each seat.
The in-flight entertainment system will also provide access to the major instant messaging platforms including MSN, Google, Yahoo, Skype, and AIM.
Virgin is offering its customers a host of techno-centric features aimed at attracting those who may be turned off by the higher prices of the major airlines yet feel budget carriers like Southwest are too simplistic.
Currently, the airline provides flights to and from San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Plans are to add a San Francisco to Washington DC route on September 26, a San Francisco to Las Vegas route on October 10, and a Los Angeles to Washington DC route October 24.
"We believe that broadband connectivity on our planes will help enhance the in-flight experience for our guests," Virgin America in-flight entertainment director Charles Ogilvie said in a statement.