The program, which Virgin America describes as a chance to "Test Fly" the newly-launched Chromebooks, from July 1 to September 30 on select routes between San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) Terminal 2 and Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport or Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
As the Chromebook is a cloud-based computer and requires an internet connection for almost all of its features, flyers who get their hands on the laptop will be given a free in-flight WiFi session.
Travelers will be able to check the laptops out at "Chrome Zones" in the airports, by swiping their credit cards for security and returning the laptop at their destination, free of charge. And Google Chrome Staff will also be on hand at the participating Virgin America gates to assist passengers.
Virgin America recently named a plane with a Twitter hashtag, partnered with Foursquare for an in-flight game, and ran several promotions that trade checkins on location-based services for rewards like plane tickets and frequent flyer points. Its latest technologically hip promotion does not come as much of a surprise.
This seems to be an extension of an existing marketing relationship between Google and Virgin America. Google has actually partnered with Virgin in the past to offer passengers free in-flight WiFi around the holidays.