November 12 2010 by Chris McGinnis
Google announced this week that it's sponsoring FREE in-flight Wi-Fi on Virgin America, Delta and AirTran from Nov. 20 through Jan. 2. This is a major expansion of a similar holiday season Wi-Fi freebie offered by the company last year, which then only included Virgin America. Delta is currently the largest airline in the world and has more than 500 jets outfitted for in-flight Wi-Fi.
The promotion is hoping to draw more attention to Google Chrome and encourages--but does not require--users to download the browser in order to receive Wi-Fi gratis.
Delta, AirTran and Virgin America are the only three carriers to offer the Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi system on all their planes. Fees range from $6 to $13 based on flight length.
In related news, Best Western partner Southwest Airlines recently announced that it's jumping on the in-flight Wi-Fi bandwagon, too. Its new satellite-based system, which is currently on about 30 jets, will be available on five dozen planes by the end of the year. Southwest plans to charge a fee of $5 per flight and says that its entire fleet (500+ jets) will be outfitted for in-flight Wi-Fi by the end of 2012.