I am not a rabid fan of in-flight Internet access. I check my email, Twitter, and various other online accounts constantly during the day, but somehow I manage to survive 8 hours each night without being plugged in. Similarly, I can manage three hours on a plane with just a good book and some offline writing to keep me occupied. I’ve done 14 hours, too.
But occasionally I do want to get an update on a project back at the office or do some of the boring maintenance work this blog requires. What I don’t want to do is overpay for my quick fix. GoGo, despite the convenience it offers, is still overpriced when you buy it during your flight. I find the connection is often too slow to load more than a few pages at once, and it is definitely too slow to transfer files back and forth with coworkers. (I love tabs, and I do a lot of digital publishing work in my day job).
I almost never used GoGo until I learned I could buy access in advance, on the ground, at a significant discount.
My go-to purchase is the one-hour pass for just $5. Contrast that with $7 for a 30-minute pass purchased in-flight, or $14 for 90 minutes (buy an hour, get 30 minutes free).
I buy a few of these one-hour passes each month, and they expire 30 days after purchase. This is still cheaper than purchasing a single-carrier monthly pass at $49.95. They also offer me more flexibility since my travel is evenly split between Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. If I wanted to buy an all-carrier monthly pass the price would go up even higher to $59.95.
If I think I might need longer access for a particular project or because I’m especially interested in wasting my time chatting on Twitter, all-day passes are available in advance, too. They are just $16. However the cost savings are more difficult to estimate because all-day passes vary in price when you buy them in the air. I’ve seen them as low as $16.95 on Alaska Airlines and $20.95 on American Airlines.
Once passes are purchased they show up in your online account, and there’s no need to enter your payment information again. Just sign in to GoGo and a prompt will appear asking if you want to use a pass. Select the one you want. If it expires partway through your flight and you want to keep browsing, log in again and repeat as necessary.