If politicians can use YouTube to announce their presidential plans, then why can’t an airline make its case using video? Virgin America, the company started by billionaire Richard Branson, has been denied permission to operate in the U.S. on local routes because of too much foreign ownership. CEO Fred Reid is making his case in this video, and believes that if enough people get behind the company it could actually fly in the U.S. skies.
Whether or not you agree with Virgin’s agenda, there is no doubt they have one pimpin’ plane! More after the jump.
They have set up a website which is kinda kitschy but gets the message across.
As you may have heard, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively rejected Virgin America’s airline application, pending resolution of some complex issues regarding our ownership. We’re answering the DOT today and are continuing our application process. But the fight isn’t over. The real loser in this battle may be you, the traveler.
Whatever you might think of his agenda, that is one pimping plane. It is an Airbus, and is a Nerdvana of sorts. Check out the networking and entertainment features – it is something geeks can totally fall in love with. This is commoditization of hardware put to effective use. Here are some of its features:
1. You can play multi-player games with other passengers. Linux based games including DOOM are going to be available and can be played through a QWERTY keyboard.
2. Plug in your electronic devices right into the 110 volt jack, no airline adapters needed.
3. First class passengers get a RJ-45 jack to plugin your laptop and get connected.
4. It has a HUGE archive of music and it follows you on each plane so when you jump to another flight, you have all your playlists etc. saved right there for you to resume your listening. About 3,000 mp3 tracks.
5. And an OMG-worthy entertainment system. RED is what they call it, and it was developed by Virgin themselves.
6. A way to electronically shop for food, no chatting with flight attendants necessary.
There is basically a PC at every seat with a 9-inch monitor, and the applications are running on embedded Linux. The entire plane is networked via Ethernet, and in the belly of the aircraft there are three file servers and a whole bunch of paraphernalia.
Come on, who wouldn’t want to fly on a plane like that.