Virgin America's in-flight perks are getting even perkier. This week, the domestic carrier announced that it's bringing Gogo's ATG-4 service aboard its fleet of aircraft, in a move that promises to enhance in-flight WiFi capacity by a factor of four. The upgrade is slated to roll out during the first half of 2012, when the company will begin outfitting its planes with Gogo's directional antenna, dual-modem and EV-DO Rev. B technologies. But VA isn't the only airline getting in on the Gogo game, as the in-flight entertainment company announced this week that it's expanding its new video streaming service to American Airlines, as well. American, as you may recall, became the first airline to test the Gogo Vision service back in August, aboard its fleet of 15 Boeing 767-200 planes. Now, the streaming product is slated to expand to a full 400 of AA's aircraft, bringing about 200 movies and TV shows to entertainment-starved passengers. Movies will be available for 24 hour rentals, with TV purchases good for a full 72 hours. Unexpired rentals, meanwhile, will still be available once you land and can be accessed with the same browser and device you used aboard the flight. No word on final pricing, though Gogo is extending its introductory offer ($1 per TV show and $4 per movie) through October 15th. Taxi past the break for more details, in a pair of press releases.
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Virgin America Becomes First Airline to Launch Gogo's ATG-4 Technology
New Even Higher Speed WiFi Connection to Launch on First Virgin America Aircraft in Early 2012
Itasca, IL. and San Francisco, CA – Sept. 14, 2011 – Gogo, the world's leading provider of in-flight connectivity and an innovator in in-flight entertainment, and Virgin America, the airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today announced at the 2011 Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Expo in Seattle that Virgin America will be the first airline to offer Gogo's next generation ATG-4 service. Gogo's ATG-4 service will significantly enhance the ATG network and improve aircraft WiFi capacity to the plane by approximately four times the current performance through the addition of directional antenna, dual-modem and EV-DO Rev. B technologies. Virgin America was the first carrier to offer fleetwide WiFi as of May 2009 via Aircell's Gogo service. Known for its innovative amenities including power outlets at every seat, the airline regularly sees up to one-third of guests on its flights logged on to the popular Gogo service.
"As the only airline based in Silicon Valley our tech-forward guests have come to expect a fully connected in-flight experience on Virgin America," said President and CEO of Virgin America David Cush. "With Gogo's new ATG-4 technology, we're excited to see our long-time partner come to the table with a new offering that will further improve the speed and performance of in-flight WiFi for our guests."
Gogo's ATG-4 service on Virgin America is scheduled for delivery on aircraft beginning in the first half of 2012. The new platform is backwards compatible and allows for upgrades to existing ATG systems through low cost retrofits.
"Gogo is committed to meeting the ever evolving connectivity needs of our airline partners," said Michael Small, Gogo's President and CEO. "ATG-4's increased capacity is a perfect solution to meet Virgin America's connectivity needs. We will continue to develop and offer a suite of technology solutions for our airline partners, recognizing that this isn't a one-size fits all market. Our experience has taught us the important lesson that multiple technologies will need to be deployed over time, and our solutions are built to accommodate changes in technology to meet the needs of every aircraft and mission – whether that's through ATG, ATG-4 or satellite technologies."
With topnotch service, beautiful design and a host of high-tech amenities, Virgin America has swept the industry best-in-class awards for the quality of its service since its 2007 launch, including "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and "Best Domestic Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers' Choice Awards.
In this year's APEX awards, Virgin America captured top honors for "Best Ground Experience," "Best In-flight Entertainment in the Americas," "Best In-Flight Video" and "Best Overall Passenger Experience." At APEX earlier this week, Virgin America also announced the new technology partner for the next iteration of the airline's Red™ in-flight entertainment system – slated for launch in late 2012.
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Gogo Vision to Go Live on Approximately 400 American Airlines Aircraft in 2012
ITASCA, Ill., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Gogo, the world's leading provider of in-flight connectivity and an innovator in in-flight entertainment, today announced that American Airlines, will expand Gogo's new streaming video product – Gogo Vision™ – onboard approximately 400 American Airlines aircraft.
The expansion of Gogo's new streaming video product on all of American's Gogo-equipped aircraft will be completed by the end of 2012. American, which became the first to launch Gogo's video product in August, currently has the service up and running on their fleet of 15 Boeing 767-200 aircraft.
In addition to the video expansion, Gogo has extended an introductory pricing offer of $.99 per TV show and $3.99 per movie through Oct. 15, 2011. With the purchase of a video, travelers will also receive a free Gogo Wi-Fi session for use on a later flight. Customers do not have to purchase in-flight Wi-Fi to purchase a movie or TV show.
"We definitely feel that our video product is a game-changer for the industry and American continues to be at the cutting edge with this technology," said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo's chief marketing officer. "Gogo Vision offers airlines a low-cost, light-weight, easy-to-install solution that's very different from traditional IFE."
Gogo Vision features a growing list of nearly 200 movies and TV shows from major Hollywood studios to offer customers a range of entertainment choices. Customers can sort titles by movie or TV, genre, length of feature, and other categories. Trailers are available for complimentary viewing prior to renting content. Movies and TV shows will remain accessible for viewing after the customer has landed – movies for 24 hours and TV shows for 72 hours. Unexpired rentals will be available for playback on the ground by using the same device and browser used onboard.
"Initial customer feedback shows our Entertainment On Demand product is a hit with our customers and we feel that it's a great example of how we continue to deliver products that our customers truly value," said Rob Friedman, American's Vice President – Marketing. "In addition to our expansion news today, we are thanking our customers for their loyalty by extending the free internet and introductory pricing offers until October 15."