You’ll now have more time to use Gogo Wi-Fi on many flights

Jul 7, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While Gogo’s satellite-based 2Ku service offers gate-to-gate connectivity — on some airlines, customers can use Wi-Fi to browse the web from the moment they board the plane — the company’s older ATG (Air-to-Ground) service connects to special cellular towers on the ground, that communicate with antennas on the belly of the plane.

For more travel tips and news, sign up for our daily newsletter

Unfortunately, due to the antenna position, it’s simply impossible for ATG-4 aircraft to get a connection until they’re in the air — traditionally, that version of Gogo’s Wi-Fi doesn’t become available until a plane reaches 10,000 feet, though a recent update gave regional and business jets a big boost, reducing that connectivity threshold to 3,000 feet, instead.

On eligible regional jets, customers can now get online once the plane reaches 3,000 feet, very shortly after takeoff — on descent, the plane will maintain a connection until it reaches 3,000 feet, as well. In a press release, the company states that customers should expect between 15 and 20 more minutes online during many flights. Considering 25% of Gogo-equipped regional jet flights have a duration of one hour or less, that’s a considerable boost to your productivity time.

Many larger planes are equipped with Gogo’s far speedier 2Ku service. Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

According to Gogo, lower-altitude connectivity “will be available at most locations throughout the contiguous United States.” As the company explains, “Testing shows service may not be available everywhere and system performance may vary from airport to airport, Gogo’s service guarantees apply once an aircraft reaches 10,000 feet above ground level (AGL).”

Related: Guide to in-flight WiFi

Since it’s not clear where you will and won’t be able to connect at 3,000 feet, this feels like a “your mileage may vary” situation. The good news is that eligible planes will get the altitude boost via a remote software update, with some 650 commercial regional jets and 1,300 business jets seeing performance improvements automatically.

If you’re planning to use Gogo on your next flight, be sure to check prepaid pricing in advance, which could offer significant savings over inflight purchases. Additionally, certain credit cards offer Gogo service for free, including the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card and other premium picks.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.