It seems that Virgin America has cracked the code on how to speed up in-flight Wi-Fi connections enough so we can continue our Netflix binge-watching 20,000 feet in the air. Until now, data-devouring websites have been left off the in-air browsing capabilities for just that reason—get too many people jumping on Netflix at once and the entire connection could come crumbling down. The secret to seamless watching comes from Virgin's new partnership with communications company, ViaSat. Travelers can expect to see this in-flight entertainment upgrade on 10 airplanes in early 2016 starting this September.
The real reason we haven't been able to acheive a lightning quick Wi-Fi signal is because of the weight an antenna adds to the aircraft. (You can read all about that here.) ViaSat and Virgin's antenna accesses both land-based signals and satellite signals over the ocean to provide a steadier connection. So how fast is fast enough for streaming? The new speeds are 30 times quicker than the connections we're used to. Virgin's flight-changing plans are only one part of a recent slew of in-flight entertainment upgrades, like JetBlue's exclusive rights to Vice video content.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.
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