Google GoGo Spreads Free Wi-Fi In-flight Cheer

Google has partnered with AirTran, Delta and Virgin America to offer free inflight Wi-Fi service on all domestic flights during the upcoming festive season.

Last year Google ran a similar programme that involved Virgin America only, and also periodically offered free Wi-Fi to travellers in airports.

This year's programme provides free GoGo In-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights between November 20 and January 2 on the three participating airlines.

Normally, outside of the Christmas holiday period, GoGo costs between $5 and $13 for Internet access per flight. Costs differ with the lengths of flights, as well as monthly packages ranging from $30 to $40 and a "6 pack" for infrequent travellers that cost $50.

There are also less expensive options for customers using only a mobile device, rather than a laptop.

Although the free in-flight promotion will be costing Google money, the goodwill earned with customers as well as the extra advertising revenue driven by travellers doing Google searches could make the promotion well worth it for Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

The search engine giant is also encouraging users to download Google Chrome, but the free in-flight Wi-Fi does work with any web browser.

Google has also faced controversy over its recent run in with the law over the Street View programme, which was collecting data from open Wi-Fi networks.

However, the US Federal Trade Commission declined to take action against Google after an investigation.

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