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1st July 2011 |  Written by Steph Goodman

Google Join Forces With Virgin America

Good news for those who fly Virgin America. Most airlines are now cutting in-flight meal services, however Virgin America have decided to do quite the opposite and give out laptops instead. Virgin announced that they have partnered with Google and will make their Chromebooks available for testing on selected flights.

The Chromebooks that are being manufactured by Samsung and Acer, have been available in US since June, however won’t be available in the UK till the start of July. The computer runs Google’s Chrome OS and is optimized for web-based tasks and apps. As it is neither a Mac or Windows, consumers will  have very little idea about how it works. By allowing the customers the chance to experiment with this new operating system while trapped on board is a simply a brilliant marketing decision.

However, they aren’t rolling out this service all over America just yet. If you fly between the airline’s home airport of San Francisco and either Boston, Chicage O’Hare or Dallas between July 1st and September 30th your in luck. You will ‘check out’ the laptop at the gate before boarding the plane, and during the flight you will be able to use the laptop using a free in-air WIFI pass.

Virgin America really is at the forefront of marketing campaigns after another recent collaboration with Foursquare. They released a Twitter hashtag for a specific plane, and ran several promotions that trade check-ins on location-based services for rewards that included frequent flyer points and plane tickets. I wonder how long this will take to come to the UK, after all Virgin is a British brand.

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