A few weeks before Thanksgiving, GI Phil here at the studio mentioned that all holiday flights were going to have free wi-fi.I found this hard to believe. I’d traveled earlier in the year when AirTran had their free wi-fi month. But then the next month you had to pay for it. So it had only been a short promotion designed to tickle one’s fancy for wi-fi while 30,000 fee in the air. And it was only on Airtran at that time. I guess they hoped we’d all put down $10 the next flight we were on for it.
But now for the holidays ALL airlines were providing free wi-fi? Yep. It turned out to be true. I wondered how in the heck this could be? ALL airlines? Free wi-fi for a month and a half? Wow.
We flew to Tampa Bay for Thanksgiving on Delta and sure enough there was free wi-fi. I discovered when I went to sign-on it who was responsible. Google. Of course, Google! Who else would have what must certainly be the enormous budget required to provide promotional free wi-fi on all flights?
Then we flew to New Orleans over the Christmas break and sure enough they had the same thing going.
The initial sign-on screen asked for an email address and for the user to try out it’s Google Chrome web browser. I did’t download it on the flight. But when I got back into the office I remembered and installed Chrome on my MacBook Pro.
I was immediately impressed with the speed of it -which they tout.
If I hadn’t of been offered free wi-fi in the promotional name of Chrome I probably wouldn’t have tried using it anytime too soon.
So kudos to Google for a great and somewhat non-traditional promotion. I’m sure it cost a ton. And I hope a lot of people are trying out Chrome now.
Another cool thing was that they didn’t shove the marketing down our throats. They didn’t say FREE WI-FI ON ALL FLIGHTS FROM GOOGLE CHROME. They said FREE WI-FI. And only when you used it did you discover who was sponsoring it.
I’ve gotten used to going to Chrome now when I want fast browsing. It IS really fast. And it has a lot of other features I’ve yet to dig into.
Here’s a link to “Why use Google Chrome?” and that super cool online comic book by artist Scott McCloud about it.
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