The lustre of traveling via airplane has been lost in the past few years. Paying to check bags is a pain, you’re lucky if you even get those generic salty peanuts during the flight (and if you do, I’m sure you’ll have to swap your left or right incisor to acquire the peanuts), the TSA grope-a-thon, the seats haven’t gotten any roomier, and you can’t even play with electronics while in transit. It’s the epitome of the best and worst of technology’s spoils in the 21st century.
Fortunately for Alec Baldwin and the rest of us, Google and Virgin America airlines have partnered to provide free Chromebooks for passengers to use during their flights. And yes, that means you get free in-flight Wi-Fi as well. Louis Gray, the Google+ Product Marketing Manager, posted about the deal yesterday from his account:
The response was pretty positive in the comments section of his post, but then again, who’s going to complain about getting to use netbooks and Wi-Fi during a flight for free? Don’t get too excited about the free Chromebook because you do have to give it back once your flight lands. Google might be cool, but they’re not Uncle-Scrooge-at-the-end-of-A-Christmas-Carol cool. Still, this is a pretty fantastic deal although it does have its limitations. For now, the only Chrome Zones, as they’re calling the locations from which you can borrow a Chromebook, are located in Chicago (ORD), San Francisco, Boston, New York (JFK), and Dallas-Fort Worth. Additionally, the offer is only valid through January 15 so get going somewhere soon if you wanna take advantage of the free Internet and Chromebook. One lingering question that will remain after the 15th of January is: now that its been demonstrated that using Wi-Fi on an airplane doesn’t cause Jerry Bruckheimer-levels of catastrophe, will airlines be more likely to let people use their electronic devices during flights? Since almost all airlines are trying to make flying as uncomfortable as possible, my Spidey Sense is telling me no.