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Virgin America's Xmas Present: Free WiFi

Virgin America, partnering with Google, reported it will offer free wireless Internet access on all its flights from Nov. 10 to Jan. 15 as "a holiday gift."

Porter Gale, vice president of marketing, said inflight WiFi was a key factor for business and leisure travelers choosing their airline. Currently Virgin America uses Gogo Inflight Internet service which ranges from $5.95 to $12.95 per flight.

Google's role in this a little more difficult to pinpoint. Marissa Mayer, vice president of search projects and user experience at Google, said, "As millions of people pass through airports this holiday season . . . we wanted to give our users a gift -- one that makes their travel easier and more convenient."

Google has enough chutzpah and cash to do plenty of magnanimous gestures, but I'm interested to see if Virgin adopts some Google technology in the near future. And as TechCrunch points out, at least now we'll know how well the inflight service bandwidth holds up when everyone is on it.

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