Netflix Streaming in the Sky: The ViaSat Way

After going through the mundane routine of navigating through airports, security checks, and boarding procedures, most passengers prefer to sink into their seats and relax through the flight. However, travelers on Virgin America now have a better inflight option: watch Netflix shows for free and whisk away their flight boredom.

ViaSat, Virgin America, and Netflix: Presenting the next-gen inflight Wi-Fi

This amazing inflight experience is the result of two path-breaking agreements signed recently by low-cost, long-haul airline Virgin America. The first of these is a partnership with satellite-maker ViaSat to provide faster on-board Wi-Fi Internet. That association offers transfer speeds close to what users experience in their own homes. The second tie-up, which came into effect from September 29 this year, is with top on-demand streaming service provider Netflix. For the passenger, the agreements have resulted in a win-win situation.

Enjoy Free Netflix in the Air

So the next time you are on a Virgin America flight that has ViaSat on board, sit back and enjoy the latest films and award-winning videos from Netflix on your mobile device or laptop. The service, which is complimentary until March 2016, brings popular shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” out of your living rooms and onto your mobile displays 35,000 feet in the air. ViaSat’s service will be operational on ten new Airbus A320 airplanes, which are joining Virgin America’s fleet between fall 2015 and July 2016.

Brand Promotion Opportunity

The NetflixOnboard partnership between Virgin America and Netflix has already resulted in an aggressive positioning of their respective brands. The inauguration of the service was marked by the launch of a Virgin America airplane emblazoned with “House of Cards” and an appearance by Michael Kelly, who essayed the role of Doug Stamper in that show. In fact, passengers on Virgin America’s Flight 1 from San Francisco International Airport to Washington Reagan National Airport received a double treat: they took advantage of ViaSat’s superior Wi-Fi connectivity to watch “House of Cards” on their devices, while Kelly slipped into his character and shared his wits with them through the inflight communication system prior to take-off.

Netflix at 35,000 feet: Easy and intuitive

The thought of streaming video 35,000 feet in the air seems a little in fantasy land. But not really, as many guests on board Virgin America flights have discovered. The process to access your Netflix account and your favorite show is no Houdini act. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps:

  • Wait for a notification by the airline crew that ViaSat’s high-speed Wi-Fi is active
  • Open your web browser on your devices
  • Select the complimentary “VirginAmerica” ViaSat network and log in with your Netflix credentials
  • In case you don’t have a Netflix account, create a 30-day trial account for free

Voila! You now have Netflix on your fingertips, just as if you were in your living room

Virgin’s Red® Beta

From October, Virgin America is also offering passengers Seasons 1-3 of “House of Cards” free through its Red® touch-screen seatback in-flight entertainment system. So passengers have the option to watch their favorite show on their devices or on their seatback. The Red inflight system, which is in beta now, offers a rich interactive experience to passengers because of its high-res touchscreens, a huge bank of entertainment shows and games, and mapping aids —all in a unique surround-sound environment.

Virgin America: Going that Extra Step for Passenger Comfort

Virgin America has been at the vanguard of technology in the airline industry. It still retains the unique distinction of being the only airline based in Silicon Valley and America’s lone airline that has been offering Wi-Fi on all its flights since 2009. The airline has gone all out to improve the inflight experience by providing a power outlet for every passenger and cushy leather seats that are equipped with seatback entertainment and an on-demand menu.

ViaSat: Playing the Enabler for Virgin

However, what really set Virgin America apart from the rest of the pack was its tie-up with ViaSat in July this year. ViaSat’s next-generation satellite-based Internet connectivity upscaled inflight Wi-Fi to near-terrestrial streaming speeds. In effect, ViaSat has played the perfect intermediary to fructify the agreement between Netflix and Virgin America. While a slower inflight Wi-Fi would have been frustrating for passengers, streaming Netflix content 35,000 feet in the air through ViaSat, which is 8X-10X faster than any existing inflight Wi-Fi option, is a breeze for passengers.

ViaSat in the Air, Exede on the Ground: Stealing the Internet Thunder

Like many other technologies, inflight Wi-Fi is metamorphosing from the frustrating slow connectivity of the past to ViaSat’s fast and furious Internet connectivity in the skies. The Netflix-Virgin partnership is really a consummation of ViaSat’s avant-garde technology. But if you thought ViaSat technology is limited to inflight Wi-Fi, you couldn’t be more wrong. Its terrestrial service Exede is breaking barriers in Internet connectivity in many homes across all fifty states in America. Backed by the force of ViaSat, Exede gives you all that you look for in an Internet service provider: fast streaming of videos, lightning-quick downloads, and webpages that load before you can say, “How’s that?” Just like ViaSat inflight connectivity, Exede has already stolen the march from its competitors. It is like if ViaSat could do it, Exede also does with a pinch of grace.