Souvenir Sunday: tiny travel items and free in-flight Wi-Fi

Free Wi-FI at airport

This weekend kicks off a great holiday promotion that provides travelers with a truly useful travel souvenir. Depending on when you travel, you’ll be able to get free in-flight Wi-Fi on four airlines: Air Tran, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Virgin America.

Domestic travelers on Air Tran, Delta and Virgin America will be able to use the Gogo Inflight Internet for free on all Wi-Fi equipped planes from now through January 2, 2011. (Thank-you, Google Chrome). Travelers on Alaska Airlines can log on to Gogo for free from now through December 9, 2010.  (Thank-you, Honda.)

While you’re up there poking around the Internet for free, please take a moment to look at the Passports with Purposes website.

A word-wide team of bloggers has banded together to try to raise $50,000 to build a village in India.

Last time I looked, the heart-shaped thermometer showed we were just $15,000 short of the goal.

The project on its own is quite worthy, but each $10 you donate gets you an entry ticket for one of a boatload of great prizes, everything from plane tickets and hotel stays to upscale travel gear, an iPod, an iPad and swanky vacation packages.

My prize partner for the project is Mimimus.biz, the popular website that stocks pretty much anything you can think of in travel-sized and single-serving sizes.

minimus.biz hummus dip

They’ve donated a surprise box stuffed with essential, curious and luxury travel-sized items that I hope will include the organic Amazonian lip balm that comes packaged in a tree nut, TSA-friendly single servings of hummus and the Duncan Imperial Yo-Yo keychain.

minimus.biz imperial duncan Yo-Yo key chain

Free in-flight Wi-Fi for the holidays

Yesterday Google Chrome announced that it is partnering with AirTran Airways, Delta, and Virgin America to offer passengers free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi from November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011.

That’s great news, of course, but I had a few questions:

What about those folks who’ve already purchased monthly “Gogo Unlimited” packages?

Not to worry, say the folks at AirCell, who have so far installed the Gogo inflight internet on 1033 (and counting) aircraft:

“During the Google promotion, we will work with each individual to meet their upcoming travel needs. We encourage Gogo Unlimited customers to contact our Care team at customercare@gogoinflight.com.”

OK. But what airports?

Last year Google’s Holiday Wi-Fi program sponsored free Wi-Fi at close to 50 airports.  Some of those airports were already offering free Wi-Fi and over the past year a few airports have switched from paid to free Wi-Fi service. But there are still plenty of airports where sending a few emails requires the purchase of a 24-hour Wi-Fi pass.

Earlier this year there was talk of Google partnering with airports to offer not only free Wi-Fi, but free long distance phone calls and other sure-to-be-appreciated perks. Today a Google spokesperson told me that’s not going to happen.

But Santa-Google, we’ve been good. As long as you’re sponsoring all that free in-flight Wi-Fi, why not throw in a bit of free Wi-Fi for travelers who will find themselves stuck at the airport this holiday season?