Quirky, fun-loving Silicon Valley airline Virgin America, an innovator in inflight service has joined forces with Netflix to offer passengers free in flight WiFi access to both new and old Netflix members starting today, Sept. 29. If you want to watch movies or TV during your flight you can binge watch favorite series such as “House of Cards” and” Orange Is The New Black” on cellphones, tablets, and laptops at no cost through March 2, 2016*. The experience is made possible by Virgin America’s recent connectivity partnership with ViaSat, which brings significantly faster WiFi to the airline’s 10 new airbus A320 aircraft being delivered from fall 2015 to mid-2016. In addition to offering free streaming through its new ViaSat WiFi network, as of next month, Virgin America will also offer House of Cards seasons 1-3 for free on the airline’s recently upgraded Red® touch-screen seatback in-flight entertainment platform – so travelers can binge-watch through their own devices or their seatback.
Virgin America and Netflix kicked off the service with an appearance by Michael Kelly, the Emmy-nominated star of the Netflix original series House of Cards who hopped on Virgin America Flight 1 from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA). Passengers on that flight were able to binge-watch Netflix content in Virgin America’s mood-lit cabin and drink a signature Whiskey Whistleblower cocktail, while Kelly – as his TV character Doug Stamper – dispensed some tongue-in-cheek, morally-ambiguous political advice over the aircraft’s intercom before take-off.
“Netflix and Virgin America are both known for their focus on innovation and for shaking up their respective industries – so we’re thrilled to team up to bring the best in technology and entertainment to the skies. These latest generation investments in our WiFi and entertainment platforms allow us to provide the largest breadth of streamed content ever available at 35,000 feet – along with entire seasons of some Netflix favorites via the Red platform,” said Abby Lunardini, Virgin America vice president of Brand Marketing and Communications. “We hope our guests enjoy the offering and know that even President Frank Underwood can’t get entertainment this good onboard Air Force One.”
Virgin America is the first (and still only) U.S. airline to offer WiFi on every flight and power outlets at every seat. It is also one of the youngest fleets in the industry, with custom-designed, mood-lit cabins, comfortable leather seating and a personal seatback entertainment platform that offers every guest their own seatback touch-screen with movies, live TV, interactive maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight.
Guests on aircraft equipped with the new ViaSat WiFi service will be notified by the Virgin America in-flight team that they can access high-speed WiFi. Guests can then open their browser and login for free by selecting the “VirginAmerica” ViaSat network and will then be prompted to either login to their existing Netflix account or to create a new, 30-day free trial account, after which they will then be connected to the Netflix service at 35,000 feet, just like they would on the ground. Existing account holders will be able to access Netflix through their mobile device, tablet or laptop onboard ViaSat equipped Virgin America aircraft at no additional cost through March 2, 2016, while new members can sign up to enjoy a free 30-day free Netflix trial – good for use both in the air, on Virgin America’s ViaSat-equipped aircraft, or on the ground.