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In-flight Wi-Fi is a blessing and a curse for many travelers, and I know as well as anyone that there’s nothing more frustrating than paying for a flight with Wi-Fi only to find out that the service sucks (or doesn’t work at all!).
On top of general unreliability and sluggishness, single-use and subscription fees to access services like Gogo can be prohibitively expensive. As a frequent flyer, I’ve been subscribing to Gogo for a while, and the performance hasn’t been stellar, especially as of late. So I was pretty bummed out to hear that Gogo was raising my monthly subscription rate to $59.95 from $49.95. I’d be happy to pay an extra 10 bucks if the service worked well, but in my experience that simply hasn’t been the case.
Now, I fly enough to justify paying that much just for the option to connect to the web during a flight, but if you’re a casual user, you probably have better ways to spend $60 every month. Fortunately, you have a few options. You can buy a day pass in advance (which may save you a bit over on-board fees), or you can get 10 free sessions every year with the Amex Business Platinum card (which is also currently offering 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you charge $5,000 to the card within the first three months).
In some cases, dealing with Gogo can still be better than requesting a refund directly from the airlines, which are notoriously difficult to get a refund from. But it’s frustrating to pay for service only to be disappointed when the connection drops out mid-flight and you’re expecting to get some work done. The good news is that Gogo is promising significant improvements soon, when its 2Ku satellite service launches on select airlines later this year. In the meantime, I’m going to hang in there, assuming Gogo doesn’t hike rates again this year.
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