Google Chrome is partnering with airlines AirTran, Delta and Virgin America to provide free GoGo Inflight Internet to passengers throughout the holiday season. Every domestic flight passenger on these carriers will have the opportunity to access free Wi-Fi between November 20th and January 2nd. That’s 700 planes. And approximately 15 million passengers.
Now, Google is the king of giving things away for free. And once people get something for free, it’s much harder to get them to pay for it in the future. So perhaps Google is trying to help these airlines understand the monetization power of “free” through advertising, and this is simply a test period for that?
Google did offer a similar holiday present last year, providing free Wi-Fi to Virgin Air passengers and in 50 airport terminals nationwide. All I can say is, “and a Merry Christmas to you too, Google.”