Virgin America partners with Google for in-flight laptop rental
Friday 01 July 2011
Virgin America has teamed up with Google to offer travelers access to a Chromebook, Google's new laptop, when they fly with the US airline.
The carrier announced June 30 that some passengers will be able to pick up a Chromebook at the gate on select US domestic routes, to trial while they fly.
As the Chromebook is a cloud-based computer and requires an internet connection for almost all of its features, flyers who get their hands on the laptop will be given a free in-flight WiFi session.
The program, which Virgin America describes as a chance to "Test Fly" the newly-launched Chromebooks, will run from July 1 to September 30 on select routes between San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) Terminal 2 and Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport or Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Travelers will be able to check the laptops out at "Chrome Zones" in the airports, by swiping their credit cards for security and returning the laptop at their destination, free of charge.
As of July, anyone using a Chromebook will be able to download the Virgin America Traveler Chrome app, which features handy tips such as traveler essentials, destination photos and city guide content from UrbanDaddy.
Google has partnered with Samsung and Acer for its first Chromebook models.
Earlier this month, American Airlines announced it had signed a deal with Samsung to offer the computer brand's new Galaxy Tab 10.1 to premium class travelers, with the scheme set to start with 6,000 of the devices later this year.
It follows announcements from airlines including Jetstar, airBaltic, Finnair, Iceland Express and Malaysia Airlines that Apple's iPad devices would be available for passengers to rent during flights.
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