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.
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 (November 2022)
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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
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.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)