Virgin America First with Fleet-wide Wi-Fi

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Virgin America has apparently won the race to be the first airline in the U.S. to offer Wi-Fi Internet access on all of its planes. The airline is celebrating the event by bending its own rules to host a Skype video chat with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Virgin America is using Gogo's in-flight wireless Internet service and will allow users to surf the Web, participate in text-based chats, and check email, but will block Voice Over IP services so users can't participate in audio or video chats.

AirTran announced earlier in May that it planned to be the first airline in the U.S. to complete a fleet-wide Wi-Fi rollout. The company expects to finish fitting its planes with Gogo's service by the end of the summer, which means Virgin America beat it by a substantial margin.

Virgin's in-flight Internet service costs US$12.95 for daytime flights over three hours, $9.95 for day flights under three hours, $5.95 for red-eye flights, or $7.95 for handheld devices including Apple's iPhone and iPod touch.


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OK, so I will be flying Virgin America next month.  Question:  Can I pay my $12.95 for wifi access on my macbook pro, and then somehow tether or hotspot my laptop to share that internet connection to my iPhone and my wife’s iPhone so I don’t have to buy access for all three devices?

Is sharing wifi possible when you are already connecting to the internet via wifi?


I’m airborne right now with the iPhone plan in effect. On Virgin, you have regular 110v service at the seat. So if you get the laptop plan, then share your wifi over Ethernet to an Airport Express, the rest of the family can surf that way. Not that I’ve done this or anything…


I also had both my wife’s iPhone and mine connected through the same account, but it kept kicking one or the other off. So both can acces, just one at a time.

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