Virgin America offers travellers free inflight Netflix

By Chris Chamberlin, September 30 2015

Virgin America is beefing up its inflight entertainment offering to provide free access to Internet streaming service Netflix on selected Airbus A320 aircraft.

With its entire fleet already kitted out with ground-to-air-powered inflight Internet, Virgin America’s newest planes take advantage of a high-speed ViaSat satellite connection which allows Netflix content such as the latest movies and TV shows to play with ease.

Guests simply connect to the airline’s inflight WiFi system with their own smartphone, tablet or laptop – free of charge until March 2 2016 for Netflix use – and either login to their existing Netflix account or sign up for a free 30 day Netflix trial that also works on the ground.

The satellite technology also improves the experience for busy business travellers keeping connected with their office back home, with the airline boasting speeds “8 to 10 times faster than any other on-board WiFi system”.

House of Cards’ Michael Kelly (Doug Stamper) took to the skies in character between San Francisco and Washington DC to mark the Netflix tie-up in a specially-painted aircraft, with passengers naturally treated to morally-ambiguous political advice.

“We hope our guests enjoy the offering and know that even President Frank Underwood can’t get entertainment this good on-board Air Force One,” said Abby Lunardini, Virgin America Vice President of Brand Marketing and Communications.

Jetsetters on Virgin America’s older A320 aircraft won’t have inflight Netflix access until satellite Internet is installed, but can still enjoy seasons 1-3 of House of Cards via the existing and recently-upgraded Red seatback entertainment system.

Virgin America remains a Virgin Australia airline partner, with members of Velocity Frequent Flyer able to earn and redeem points on Virgin America flights in the USA.

Also read: Virgin America moves to Gogo high-speed inflight Internet

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 May 2015

Total posts 13

when Qantas and Virgin Australia will be ready for that?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1383

When a telco provider installs ground based broadcasting -- where bandwidth is much cheaper than satellite.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 102

I would be very surprised if they were using ground based broadcasting for this. My bet is they are using the OCA (https://openconnect.netflix.com/hardware/) to supply the content. Seems the more reliable method.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 102

Although the article does mention that they are using satellite. Strange.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

After doing more googling it really does seem like they're using a satellite through ViaSat. The ViaSat-1 is apparently far more capable than any previous internet satellite.

Of course it's parked in geostationary orbit above the Americas, so we'll have to wait for someone to park a similarly-equipped satellite above us. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 102

Well nbn is due to launch skymuster perhaps qantas can get some capacity there.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2014

Total posts 20

Netflix and Chill? 


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