Those that choose to fly with Virgin America will be able to take advantage of the new perk if the plane is a new Airbus A320 – ten of which will be in service between fall 2015 and the middle of 2016. “These latest generation investments in our WiFi and entertainment platforms allow us to provide the largest breadth of streamed content ever available at 35,000 feet”.
“As WiFi becomes more ubiquitous, it’s going to be increasingly possible for members to enjoy Netflix wherever they want”, said Bill Holmes, Netflix’s global head of business development.
The move to Virgin America was in the works for a while.
In a stunt to promote the pact, Michael Kelly, the Emmy-nominated actor who appeared in “House of Cards“, is slated to be on Virgin America’s six-hour Flight 1 from San Francisco worldwide Airport to Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport on Tuesday. Is free Netflix on planes one step toward utopia or a dystopia straight out of Pixar’s “Wall-E?” The new WiFi is supposed to be “8 to 10 times faster than any other onboard WiFi system”, according to Virgin.
Right now, in-flight WiFi provider Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) provides 80% of services on USA carriers. The new ViaSat service will roll out to about one aircraft a month through June 2016, with the Wi-Fi service complimentary until March 2. If you don’t make it onto a ViaSat plane, though, you’re not completely out of luck: The partnership is also bringing a few select Netflix content to the airline’s Red in-flight entertainment system. The company is based in Silicon Valley and has been known for its trendy mood lighting and expansive entertainment offerings.
To stream House of Cards or any movie or TV show in the Netflix catalogue, passengers simply log in or sign up for a free 30-day trial once they connect to the in-flight Wi-Fi network. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.