Google's Free Virgin America Wi-Fi Shows Search Engine Is No Grinch
Here is the city coverage for the promotion:
Wi-Fi on Virgin America is powered by Gogo Inflight internet, a 3G mobile broadband network that will work above 10,000 feet whenever the aircraft is flying in the continental United States.
When on a Virgin America flight, users will need to supply an e-mail address, but no credit card, to get the free service. The SSID is "gogoinflight."
Gogo normally costs $12.95 for flights over 3 hours; $9.95 for flights between 1.5 and 3 hours; $5.95 for short flights of less than 1.5 hours, and handheld/PDA pricing of $7.95 for flights over 1.5 hours.
Sure, this offer doesn't discriminate between consumer or business travelers. I imagine some consumers will leverage this offer as they travel to and fro for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But we all know this is aimed at us corporate road warriors who crave staying connected at all times, for better or worse.
To that end, this is a clever promotion for the holidays at a time when companies are still staggering from the recession but need to send employees to business meetings. Companies, that is, that aren't Google.
When you look at Google's Q3 numbers, this almost seems like alms for the poor.