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Netflix teams with Virgin America for in-flight streaming

You are now free to binge about the country.


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Posted on Sep 30, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 9:34 pm CDT


Netflix is no longer constrained to land-based devices. The streaming video-on-demand service partnered with Virgin America to bring free in-flight streaming to Netflix subscribers on select aircraft.

Starting Sept. 29, both new and existing Netflix subscribers flying on Virgin America planes equipped with ViaSat WiFi will get free Internet access to stream their favorite Netflix content. Subscribers can access streaming titles through their mobile devices. Virgin will have 10 ViaSat-equipped planes entering service in the next few months, and the #NetflixOnboard partnership lasts through March 2, 2016.

“Netflix and Virgin America are both known for their focus on innovation and for shaking up their respective industries—so we’re thrilled to team up to bring the best in technology and entertainment to the skies,” said Abby Lunardini, Virgin America Vice President of Brand Marketing and Communications, in a release. “We hope our guests enjoy the offering and know that even President Frank Underwood [of House of Cards] can’t get entertainment this good onboard Air Force One.”

“As WiFi becomes more ubiquitous, it’s going to be increasingly possible for members to enjoy Netflix wherever they want,” added Bill Holmes, Netflix’s global head of business development. “We’re delighted to partner with Virgin America to extend the joy of Netflix to our members at 35,000 feet.”

Netflix is not the first streaming service to take to the skies. And Virgin America certainly isn’t the first airline to pay attention to digital video selections for travellers, either. Back in May 2015, Amazon partnered with JetBlue to bring its Instant Video collection to JetBlue passengers. Additionally, airlines like Southwest, Alaska Airlines, and Delta boast their own in-flight streaming video services (most of these offer a limited but free viewing selection accessible through mobile devices or in-plane screens).

You can learn more about the Netflix-Virgin America deal on Virgin’s site.

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Sep 30, 2015, 12:00 pm CDT