Skip to main content

Google teams with airlines for free holiday Wi-Fi

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ever felt the urge to try in-flight Wi-Fi service to (let’s face it) keep up with your friends and favorite sites or (the horrors!) try to get work done, but were put off by the added cost and the fiddliness? Now Google aims to solve that first problem—at least for a limited period of time. To promote it’s Chrome Web browser, Google has made deals with air carriers Virgin America, AirTrans Airways, and Delta Airlines: from November 20, 2010 to January 2, 2011, Go-Go Inflight Wi-Fi is free on U.S. domestic flights.

“Not too long ago, flying home for the holidays meant disconnecting for several hours until you touched down at your destination,” Google product management VP Sundar Pichai wrote in the company blog. “Today, Wi-Fi technologies allow us to stay connected even at 30,000 feet above the ground, so we can read the news, browse the web (to beat the long-haul boredom) and send that last-minute planning email before the family reunion. This holiday season, there will be more connected flyers than ever before.”

The program is a followup to a similar effort last year where Google made in-flight Wi-Fi free on Virgin America domestic flights from mid-November to mid-January.

The addition of Delta and AirTrans to the promotional offering might significantly increase its appeal: Delta operates the largest commercial fleet of Wi-Fi enabled aircraft in the world. The Wi-Fi service can be used by everything from traditional notebook computers to smartphones, media players, and gaming devices—although Internet users are likely to find that the bandwidth available at 30,000 feet isn’t enough to tap into streaming HD video—especially when a few other dozen people on the same plane are “testing out” the free Wi-Fi by trying the same thing.

For Google, the promotion is a chance to promote its Chrome browser—build for speed and simplicity—to travelers who do their darndest to stay connected on the road. For the airlines, the promotion is a chance to get travelers hooked on the idea of keeping up with tweets and making purchases using in-flight Wi-Fi service, on the notion that if they get to try it for free over the holidays, they’ll be more likely to pay for it during other times of the year. And who knows? Maybe the promise of free in-flight Wi-Fi will cause some passengers to choose Virgin, AirTrans, or Delta over competing carriers for holiday travel.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Best Dell laptop deals: Cheap laptops starting at $280
The Dell XPS 13 9315 on a table against a window.

Dell is one of the best laptop brands, and it has just recently updated a lot of its models, so now is the perfect time to pick up a new laptop. It has one of the widest selections of laptops too and includes some of the best laptops overall, as well as some of the best gaming laptops on the market as well. Not only that but the Dell XPS is made to compete with the likes of the MacBook Air, although if you're more interested in budget laptops, Dell has a lot of those, too.
Of course, having so many options can be a bit overwhelming for somebody who isn't familiar with Dell or the laptop market, which is why we scoured the Dell website for our favorite picks and listed them below. This list has a lot of crossover with the best Dell XPS deals, student laptop deals and gaming laptop deals, so make sure to check out some of those other great laptop deals as well.

Dell Inspiron 15 -- $300, was $330

Read more
Lenovo gaming laptops are up to $700 off post-Memorial Day
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7 Gen 8 on a white background.

For great gaming laptop deals, check out the offers going on at Lenovo. There’s a huge sale on many great gaming laptops, meaning some of the best laptop deals available today. If you’re looking to buy a new gaming laptop, we’ve picked out two great models. That includes a great budget-friendly option and a premium choice. We’ve taken a look at both so you know what to expect.
Lenovo LOQ 15-inch gaming laptop -- $931, was $1,400

Lenovo is one of the best gaming laptop brands you can buy from so even its budget offerings are worth checking out. With the Lenovo LOQ 15-inch gaming laptop, you get a 13th-generation Intel Core i7-13700H processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of SSD storage. It also has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card for all your gaming needs. That’s paired with a 15.6-inch full HD screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution. It has 45% NTSC with 350 nits of brightness and a 144Hz refresh rate so it can handle fast moving action with no risk of motion blur. Running suitably quietly, the Lenovo LOQ 15-inch gaming laptop is a good bet for mid-range gaming if you don’t mind tweaking some settings.

Read more
An OLED gaming handheld rises up to challenge the Steam Deck
Woman playing Steam Deck OLED.

In an unexpected turn of events, computing hardware manufacturer Zotac has announced it will unveil a new OLED gaming handheld next week at Computex 2024. All we know so far is that it's called the Zone and it has a 7-inch AMOLED touchscreen and two-stage adjustable triggers.

The announcement promises "high-performance," "quality controls," and "top-end specs" for the device -- but we'll have to wait until next week to see if the numbers warrant these descriptions.

Read more