Airline and Web Technology Company Team Up to Showcase Cloud Computing and WiFi at 35,000 Feet
After becoming the first and only airline to offer Gogo In-flight Internet service on every flight starting this May, Virgin America, the California-based carrier, is teaming up with Google to take cloud computing to new heights with the Day in the Cloud Challenge.
On June 24, 2009, Google Apps and Virgin America will host the first-ever online puzzle challenge that can be played in the air and on the ground. Guests flying on Virgin America flights that day will be offered complimentary WiFi to join in the fun and play at 35,000 feet. An increasing number of people are using the web to share documents, email and photos with family, friends and co-workers online "in the cloud." With web-based services like Google Apps, they are now able to connect and work together, whenever and wherever they have access to the Internet – even on a Virgin America flight at 35,000 feet.
"The number of travelers who want to take their technology with them when they fly is ever growing, and we’ve seen an overwhelming response from our guests about both our in-flight WiFi and power outlets," said Porter Gale, Vice President of Marketing for Virgin America. "This rapidly growing trend combined with innovative cloud-based services like Google Apps is paving the way for a whole new generation of tech-savvy road warriors. We’re thrilled to team up with Google to celebrate cloud computing and the technology’s growing impact on how we all travel, work and live."
On June 24, all Virgin America guests will have the opportunity to take part in the challenge with complimentary in-flight WiFi all day long on any Virgin America flight. The challenge will also be available to anyone on the ground who wishes to compete against guests traveling at 35,000 feet in the clouds. The top five game scorers will receive A Year in the Cloud Prize Package that includes free flights and free in-flight WiFi from Virgin America, a laptop computer, and 1 terabyte of online storage from Google for email and photos. The questions for the challenge will range in level of difficulty, so everyone from the novice to the expert puzzle master can take part in the fun. Participants can register to play on June 24 starting today at: www.dayinthecloud.com.
"Every day we see more people using web applications to connect with one another, whether it’s through shared photo albums, collaborative documents, or video chats," said Bradley Horowitz, vice president, product management at Google. "Naturally, people want to be able to get things done with other people conveniently – on the ground or in-flight – and we’re excited Virgin America is helping make this possible. We look forward to seeing how people use in-flight WiFi and cloud computing tools, like Google Apps, to stay connected as they travel."
With power outlets at every seat and fleet-wide WiFi, guests on any of Virgin America’s 100 daily flights have the option to surf the Web, check e-mail or log on to their corporate VPN – all from the comfort of their seats at 35,000 feet. The Gogo(R) service is available for $12.95 for daytime flights of over three hours, $9.95 for daytime flights of less than three hours, $5.95 on red-eye flights and $7.95 for handheld devices. In November 2008, Virgin America launched Gogo(R) In-flight Internet on its first flight with a first ever "air-to-ground" video stream to YouTube Live – YouTube’s first official real-world user event.
Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston and Orange County. The airline offers daily flights from: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, SFO to SEA, SEA to LAX, JFK to LAS, BOS to LAX, BOS to SFO and SFO to SNA.