Virgin, Google to Offer Chromebooks to Travelers

Virgin America airline says it is teaming up with Google to offer guests the opportunity to “test-fly” Google’s new Chromebook for free onboard its flight and at select airport gates.

From July 1-September 30, 2011, Virgin America flyers will have the exclusive chance to check out a Chromebook at their departure airport gate and take the new notebook computer out for a spin onboard select Virgin America flights.

In addition, flyers who check out a Chromebook will receive a free Wi-Fi session onboard Virgin America via the Gogo network. Chromebook users on all Virgin America flights can open their browser and surf the web for free at 35,000 feet. With an eight-second boot time, the available Chromebooks are built for connected traveler.

In a similar arrangement, Delta Air Lines and Google decided to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi to customers on Delta flights equipped with Gogo Inflight Internet service. (Read: Google Enables Delta to Offer Internet in the Air)

“We’re delighted to team up with Google yet again in a way that keeps our guests entertained and connected – in both the physical and virtual clouds,” said Porter Gale, VP of Marketing for Virgin America.

Virgin America and Ace Hotel are also launching a “Get Away with a Chromebook” sweepstakes today via Facebook for one lucky winner to score a free Chromebook and fly with a guest to New York for a two-night stay at The Ace Hotel in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. 

The winner will also receive a 30-day pass to use Aircell Gogo Wi-Fi Internet service onboard Virgin America. For details and sweepstakes rules go to

“Designed for people who live on the web and are on the go, the speed, simplicity and security of Chromebooks are an ideal choice for today’s travelers,” said Caesar Sengupta, director of Chrome OS at Google.

In addition, Google and Virgin America are jointly developing a “Virgin America Traveler” Chrome app which will be made available in July at the Chrome Web Store.   

Virgin America made this announcement today, June 30.

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Rakesh Raman