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Virgin Atlantic to launch in-flight wi-fi from 2015

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When I flew Virgin America last week (review to follow) I was very impressed by their in-flight wi-fi service.  It was fast and at $3 for 30 minutes – more than enough for a 50 minute flight – not expensive.

The wifi provider was Gogo which has established itself as the default provider for most US airlines.  Last week, Virgin Atlantic announced its own deal with Gogo.  This will see in-flight wi-fi with download speeds of up to 70Mb available from mid-2015.

Virgin 787

It makes Virgin the first European airline to use this technology and is presumably another benefit from the tie-up with Delta, an existing Gogo customer.  Gogo leases transponder capacity from major commercial satellite operators such as SES and Intelsat.  It is a different and faster system to that used by Virgin America which works by connecting with base stations on the ground – obviously not an option when flying transatlantic!

The Gogo service will not be free to passengers but, based on my experience of using Gogo on Virgin America last week, it will not be extortionately priced either.

This deal is likely to increase the pressure on British Airways to agree its own inflight wi-fi deal, as the ability to work is likely to be valued by the corporate market.  It may be less valued by the business traveller of course ….

In other news, Virgin has announced that its first non-American 787 route – pictured above – will be Delhi.  This comes just weeks after the carrier announced that it was abandoning flights to Mumbai in order to focus on the North American market.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (5)

  • Dominic says:

    Gogo is big in the US. A few months ago I flew from Chicago to SFO on AA in First Class. The only way of having in-flight entertainment was to install Gogo Video and pay (yes, even in First) for movies you wanted to watch. And, of course, you could also pay for wifi. Other than feeling a slight peeve that at the front of the plane this sort of thing ought to be free, I was impressed by the system. US carriers, clearly, think that just about everyone is going to have with them at least one piece of kit that can do a wifi connection. If you don’t, you still need a good book to sustain you on a lengthy flight!

  • Flieduk says:

    Maybe it will become more value by the business market. I understand that most biz travellers have to travel in their “own” time. If they are working on board, that might change./

  • Andrew says:

    I recall using the wifi on Oman Air about 3 years ago…

  • callum says:

    BA’s been working on it’s wifi scheme for ages – a 747’s been flying with inflight wifi for something like 6 months now. They don’t seem in any particular rush to roll it out though as they’ve said this trial will continue all year.

  • YOUP says:

    “This comes just weeks after the carrier announced that it was abandoning flights to Mumbai in order to focus on the North American market.”…
    along with abandoning of UK domestic routes, through the axing of Little Red from March and September next year.

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