Virgin Airlines tries to go gadget-friendly, U.S. Government is a hater

There’s nothing more frustrating than having your gadgets with you on a plane and not being able to use them. Virgin America is out to change that dynamic.

They’ve souped up their planes with all manner of gadget-friendly features, like USB and Ethernet ports at every seat. You needn’t worry about your battery life, they’ve also included an electric plug at every seat as well. Those plugs are 110 volts; so if you have non-American-standard devices, be sure to bring your adapters. Virgin America might be going to a lot of trouble to let you use your gadgets, but they’re probably not going to stock hundreds of adapters or converters.

The seatbacks have individualized touchscreen devices that present you with audio and video options, including music, movies, TV shows, and games. The most amazing feature, though, is the seat-to-seat chat. Just pop on those headphones, choose the seat holding the person you want to chat with, and yap away. No more standing in the aisles and blocking traffic. Of course this could be used for illegal activities, organization of groups, which we need not mention any further.

Of course, the big caveat in all of this is that the U.S. Department of Transportation has rejected the airline’s application for flying. It’s a complex story full of accusations and arguments, dating back more than a year. The airline is looking for support for its efforts to begin providing service throughout the U.S., and the gadget-friendly setup is part of the marketing effort for that campaign. Whether these upgrades ever see the light of day remains to be seen. It’s a super idea, though, and perhaps other airlines will follow suit.


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