Virgin America has completed installing software upgrades to its Linux-based Red in-flight entertainment system to allow for more content, as well as greater functionality and speed.
Passengers can use the touch-screen at every seat to order menu items, play games, shop or watch content from what Virgin America claims is the largest entertainment platform in the U.S. skies, at speeds up to 25 per cent faster than before. In addition to an expanded entertainment lineup, the Red upgrades enable new Shop offerings and more user-friendly functions like e-mail receipts for onboard purchases.
Later this year, the upgrades will also enable Red to debut more new features, including a new TV channel line-up, a “Best of the Web” category, and an expanded Shop platform.
New Red “Watch” content includes:
● A Boing Boing video channel on Red: As the only airline based in Silicon Valley and the first to offer fleetwide WiFi , Red is premiering a new Boing Boing Video channel dedicated to the irreverent and eclectic content that has made BoingBoing.net a favorite with pop-culture junkies; and
● An expanded on-demand film library: The new Red line-up boasts a library of more than 30 on-demand films ranging from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to indie favorites.
New Red “Shop” selections include ‘Help Remedies’, a collection of simple solutions for simple health troubles. At the touch of a button on Red, a solution to headaches, body aches or sleeping troubles will be delivered to the passenger in an eco-friendly package. The 16-count packages, such as “Help. I have a headache,” are available to guests for purchase for $4 and include funny, tongue-in-cheek recommendations.
New functionality upgrades include:
● Purchase receipts: For purchases made on Red, passengers can now have e-receipts emailed to them directly at the point of purchase;
● Games: Guests playing any of Red’s videogame favorites, including DOOM, can now override game soundtracks and listen to their favorite songs from the more than 3,000 tracks in the airline’s MP3 library. This change was a recommendation made by Virgin America guests via Red’s feedback button; and
● Faster rewind and fast-forward functionality: Guests can stop, start, rewind and fast forward at three different speeds for all video on-demand content such as movies, premium TV and music videos.
Virgin America’s Red platform offers touch-screen and remote control interactivity and extensive content and options, including:
● “Watch”: Live satellite TV, cached specialty channels, 30+ on-demand films, premium TV like HBO and an on-demand music video library;
● “Play”: A variety of videogames, including cult favorites like DOOM, navigated by a Qwerty keyboard handset at every seat;
● “Talk”: A seat-to-seat chat feature inside the aircraft, so guests can chat with someone in a nearby seat;
● “Journey”: Interactive Google Maps that zoom at eight levels and track the aircraft in-flight;
● “Eat”: An on-demand menu system that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight;
● “Shop”: An on-demand shopping section; and
● “Listen”: A 3,000 MP3 library and platform to create playlists in-flight.
Virgin America flies to San Francisco; Los Angeles; New York; Washington D.C.; Seattle; Las Vegas; San Diego; Boston; and Orange County; and starting November 18, Fort Lauderdale. The airline operates more than 100 daily flights.