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Travelling to the USA soon? Here's a world-first perk of flying Virgin America for domestic hops: passengers can take free "test-flights" of the new Chromebook ultralight laptop from Google -- plus, they'll get free wi-fi on board if they do.
You'll pick up your loaner Chromebook, which Google is positioning (perhaps rather optimistically) as a "MacBook Air-killer", at a Chrome Zone kiosk near your departure gate, handing over your credit card for a holding deposit.
The promo images show the Samsung-made Chromebook, which is slightly larger than the Acer version. Samsung spruiks it as having 8.5 hours of battery life and a 12.1-inch display, while the smaller Acer has a 6-hour battery and an 11.6-inch display.
Either version should have more than enough battery for your flight.
When you get off the plane, Google staff will be waiting for you at the gate to receive the Chromebook back.
Now, the details: it's available on all flights between Virgin America's new terminal in San Francisco and Dallas/Fort Worth, Boston and Chicago. The Chromebooks will be available today, 1 July, until 30 September.
Here's where to find them:
San Francisco Chrome Zone
Location: SFO Terminal 2 near Gates 51A/B
Dallas-Fort Worth Chrome Zone
Location: DFW Terminal E next to Gate E20
Chicago Chrome Zone
Location: ORD Terminal 3 Gate L3
Boston Chrome Zone
Location: BOS Terminal B in Gate 37-38
While you're using the Chromebook, don't forget to check out Google's top travel search features.
(And of course, if you're flying Virgin America, don't forget to give them your Virgin Australia Velocity Rewards number to earn local reward points -- much more useful than Virgin America's Altitude reward points!)
Drop us a tweet inflight at @AusBT to tell us how the Chromebook is working out for you!
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