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TPG reader Robert tweeted me to ask about strategies for buying in-flight Wi-Fi:
@thepointsguy– “I’m a Delta Platinum member and love in-flight Wi-Fi; however it seems like Gogo is constantly raising the price of its monthly plans, and now mine is $49 a month (only for Delta). Do you think it’s now better to pay per use rather than subscribe?”
First off, I would like to welcome everyone to the new TPG offices. As our team grows, our office space is growing too, and today I’m filming from our new office space in downtown Manhattan. I’m really excited to have this great new space that we’ll soon be tricking out with cool aviation-themed decorations.
I’ll be starting something new and cool called Periscope daily from the office, which means I will be putting my phone on with a live video feed of us in the office answering your questions. You’ll need to have Twitter to be able to see it, and we’ll be tweeting when we do it, so stay tuned for more on this.
Anyway, back to this Sunday reader question. Robert is understandably upset because Gogo keeps increasing the prices for inflight Wi-Fi.
The answer comes down to some simple calculations based on how often you fly. Here’s a breakdown of Gogo’s current prices:
- One-day pass: $16
- Three-day pass: $48
- Unlimited Gogo Wi-Fi on a specific airline is $49.95 per month. That gets you unlimited access on the selected airline, on any Gogo equipped flight operating between destinations within the United States, Canada and Mexico, but not transoceanic flights. That adds up to just under $600 annually.
- Unlimited Gogo Wi-Fi on any airline is $59.95 a month, or just under $720 annually.
So, if you plan to use Gogo more than three times per month, then the monthly pass is more efficient. However, Gogo will charge you every month, so you’d have to fly more than three times every single month, or average it out to make the pass worthwhile.
One thing to note is that Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi seems to be getting worse and worse. I’ve had some frustrating flights recently where the Gogo internet was worse than my dial-up 1993 Prodigy account. I was expecting to hear screeching modem noises in the background (I would have welcomed the trade-off for a faster connection). Sometimes Gogo isn’t just slow, but actually comes to a complete stop. I know I’m not alone here; several TPG employees have had a similar experience, and feel free to share yours.
That being said, Gogo has great customer service, so if you’ve had a horrible experience, it’s worth contacting them. Generally, they will refund you or give you a credit, but it’s much easier to get a credit for a one-time pass than for a whole month. So if you’re on the fence, it could be a good idea to just stick with the one-time passes and make sure you let Gogo know if you have a bad experience. They shouldn’t be charging you for a service they can’t provide.
Gogo will supposedly be upgrading its technology in 2016, so hopefully the experience will improve. Until then, I encourage everyone to share their thoughts with Gogo (whether they’re positive or negative). I do like Gogo and want to see improvement from them, because it’s a shame to expect solid Wi-Fi and end up paying for a service that doesn’t work. After all, if I can’t Instagram from the air, what’s the point of even flying?