Thursday, January 18, 2007

Big ol' jet airliner..

Let's face it: Air travel has become more and more tedious over time. What, with all the nonsense rules of what you can and cannot bring on a plane, delays, circling over airports until the air traffic calms down, baggage claim... OK OK I'LL STOP!

So imagine the eye-opening when I checked out Virgin America's new rides. Below is the video that CEO Fred Reid filmed in VA's effort to do a hell of a job in getting the stateside travellers to give the government hell to get VA the green light they need to start business.

They've even gone so far as to set up a separate website, LetVAFly, to further their cause (and to make all of you geeks, myself included, drool to the point of wanting to fly anywhere). This is the feature list that I caught from the little demonstration (see below the fold):

  • 110-volt power outlets that do not require any adapters.
  • Standard headphone jacks at each seat.
  • USB and RJ-45 jacks at each seat.
  • Touch-screen in-flight entertainment system running on Linux that is really the shit.
  • Servers which house over 3,000 MP3 files so you can build your own playlist.
  • You order food and drink through the screen and swipe your credit card, after which it's delivered to you.
  • You have your choice of tv, streaming movies, music, and multi-player gaming (Doom).
  • You can chat with other passengers with the included keyboard/game controller, or even join a full plane chat room.

My guess is that the already failing airline industry is scared shitless of Virgin coming in and stealing the spotlight. Maybe this is what is holding up the works. Technically, the issue appears to be the amount of foreign ownership within the country.

All I know is that I want to fly on this damn plane. Any other takers?


At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foreign ownership is a very big deal with regards to US airlines. Were it not for that we probably would no longer have a Northwest Airlines, for instance (since it's in all but name a subsidiary of KLM, but KLM is foreign, and so isn't allowed to have more than a certain percentage of the ownership).

I see what you mean about the techie stuff, however. I'm not a techie by any means, but even with my really limited ability to appreciate what you're describing, I can graps the significance of the differences they're proposing to add to their planes.

Raising the bar on the rest of the creaky senior citizens of the US airline industry is hardly something that's going to make them jump for joy any time soon.....

- oddjob

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You live in Pompton Lakes????

Damn, you're the second person I've encountered from that area!

- oddjob (who has no family connections of any kind to that area)

At 12:24 PM, Blogger SpaceCowboy said...

For starters, it's a pleasure to have you in my humble blog-abode, having enjoyed your comments on Shakes' place.

I really am curious to see how this thing plays out. Like you pointed out, the bar is certainly raised. So, the other airlines have to think fast about how they're going to compete.

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's exactly the sort of thing Branson has made a career of doing, stepping in brashly with his megawatt smile and casually trashing the entrees served by everyone else for the past half century or so. He's kind of like Steven Jobs, but with a penchant for Hollywood style instead of erudite quirkiness.

- oddjob


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