Million Dollar Monday

Aspiring airline, Virgin America is doing as much as it can to get its’ planes off the ground and filled with passengers to participate in an in-flight gadget festival. You’re probably familiar with Virgin Atlantic which is a popular international carrier. Virgin America is under the same ownership, but is facing difficulties getting licensed by the D.O.T. (U.S. Department of Transportation) because of ownership issues. While they’re grounded, Virgin America is doing what they can to lure in the gadget and technology enthusiasts with decked out planes for interactive, and entertaining flights.

There are lots of differences to expect on a Virgin America flight compared to other American carriers.  First class passengers can expect plush leather seating with a flipout LCD screen, and the Main cabin is a huge step above from your classic coach with black leather seating with lumbar support and a personal nine-inch widescreen entertainment system.

Other huge advantages include 110-volt power outlets, USB ports, and Ethernet jacks which would all come in handy for any tech savvy, or business traveler.  Their in-flight entertainment includes the expected Live TV, music, and Pay-per-view movies on-demand. Then there’s the multi-player games available along with email, sms, instant messaging, and chat-rooms which gives you an airborne social network.

Not only can you play games, and chat, but you can also shop for food right from the widescreen TV at your seat.  All of this is done using an embedded version of Linux. There are many quality electronics products that Linux is behind which many people are unaware of, and this is no exception. In the planes belly, you’ll find three file servers which stream video, among other things.

Just yesterday, they announced their plans for inviting open source game developers to participate in their Inflight Entertainment System. This wouldn’t be paid participation, rather just a chance for you to get your hard work out there for people to use.  If you’re interested in creating a game, you can find all the details here.

Another nice feature to have would be an easy-to-use online video interface that integrates with YouTube, Google Video, and other services. If they’re trying to appeal to the tech-savvy, that would definitely do it.

While all of this sounds great and a huge step above any domestic US carrier, for now they’re left trying to convince people to sign their petition to demand that the DOT give them permission to fly. Below is a YouTube demo of all of the cool gadgets to expect on Virgin America if they ever manage to get themselves up in the air.