How To Save Money On Gogo Inflight Wifi

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With how much I fly, wifi on planes is more or less a necessity. I wouldn’t be able to fly as much as I do if it weren’t for inflight wifi, and in many cases I plan my flights around the availability of it.

I have a Gogo monthly pass, which costs me $59.95. That gets me wifi on domestic flights on most airlines, including American (which is my primary domestic airline). While it’s not an insignificant amount to spend, it allows me to have one of the best office views out there, in my opinion. 😉

Wifi

While I have a monthly wifi pass, I know many people don’t fly as often as I do. Some months even I have very limited domestic flying, and probably don’t get my money’s worth.

But wifi nowadays is expensive. For example, last night I took an American flight from New York to Los Angeles. Ford was flying with me, so we were looking at the most economical way to get wifi for him. A pass for just the New York to Los Angeles flight would have cost $33.95:

Save-Money-Inflight-Wifi-3

That’s insane! Checking the prices on my phone, a pass exclusively for a mobile device would have cost $26.95.

Save-Money-Inflight-Wifi-2

Gogo sure has been raising prices, despite the fact that the wifi speeds on American are horrendous (though that may soon be changing).

As I looked at the pricing I was reminded of something I often forget about, and that many people don’t seem to know about.

Gogo sells discounted wifi passes if you purchase them before your flight. For $16 you can purchase an all day pass, valid for 24 hours of domestic flying on a single airline.

Save-Money-Inflight-Wifi-1

That’s less than half the price of a single flight pass onboard our flight, and that’s not even accounting for the fact that the 24 hour pass is potentially valid for multiple flights.

I’d say that’s actually a very reasonable price. While many people might not be willing to pay ~$33 to use wifi on one flight, I think most would agree that $16 is a “fairer” price (whatever “fair” means in the context of the free market).

When you purchase the 24 hour pass it will be linked to your Gogo account, and then when you’re on your flight you can immediately log-in. Once you’re airborne the discounted pricing no longer works, as Gogo blocks the offer onboard. But you can purchase it anytime prior to departure, including on your phone while you’re waiting for the plane’s door to close.

Remember to use your Ink Plus® Business Credit Card or Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card for purchasing inflight wifi, as you’ll earn 5x points for telecommunication purchases (which Gogo counts as).

Also keep in mind that if you have The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN you receive 10 free Gogo passes annually, which is another great way to save on wifi.

Bottom line

For those who don’t have a Gogo Unlimited membership, purchasing a Gogo pass in advance is a no brainer. $16 for 24 hours of Gogo wifi is a good deal, and will be cheaper than the individual flight pricing on just about any flight.

Does anyone regularly purchase Gogo wifi passes in advance to get the $16 pricing?


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Comments

  1. Don’t forget about mobile pass for just $8 (pre-flight) for Delta flyers and you can often use that to SYNC to your laptop via USB or Bluetooth for 24/hrs. Or use Connectify and share off your laptop the connection to your other devices!

  2. Some Chromebooks come with 10 1-time use GoGo passes, and I’ve found these PCs as cheap as $99…even if you never use the computer except for the passes, you get some great value out of it. Just a little tip.

  3. Don’t forget that the US Bank Flexperks Visa comes with 12 annual gogo single flight passes. The card only has a $49 annual fee, so for the passes alone you are getting a fantastic deal.

  4. US Bank Flexperks Visa cards come with 10 gogo passes a year for a $49 annual fee. Everyone who uses gogo more than 3 times a year should have one of these cards.

    Prior to this perk, I’ve had times where I remembered at the last minute to buy a $16 pass on the ground. I remember trying to buy the pass with my phone as the plane taxied.

  5. If you forget to pre-purchase a pass, you can still get the $16 pass in flight if you purchase from Delta rather than Gogo (as a Trip Extra, leveraging the complimentary access to Delta.com)

  6. This past weekend, I purchaed a pre-flight $8 smartphone pass for 24 hours. Ieven bounced it between two different phones.

  7. As others have also pointed out, I consider the $8 smartphone pass the true bargain. Thanks for the tip re credit cards. I’d never considered that. I’m going to change my account to my Chase Ink card immediately.

  8. I flew LAX-BOS yesterday and there was free GoGo wifi. Wasn’t about to ask why (allow LA folks to track the Oscars???) but it was a nice supplement to the terrific 738 entertainment system (at least in F).

  9. @Matt The GoGo offer was introduced about 3 years ago; my reading is that the program ends December 31, 2015, regardless of purchase date. Those passes are no longer valid.

    One problem with pre-purchse of a GoGo pass is that although it is cheaper, what do you do if the GoGo is not working on your flight.

    I have purchased the $5 one hour pass. Twice on my flights GoGo just was not working well enough to be usefull. The gave me an additional pass which was nice. The second time, I had prepurchased Gogo wouldn’t work at al so I couldn’t use, and to make it worse, by the time I could have used it, expired as the $5 hour pass only has a shelf life of 30 days.

  10. Oops. To clarify my post above, the Chromebook Gogo offer expired last December. The passes are no longer valid anymore.

  11. @Donna: Relatives awhile back used it on LH YVR-FRA. It was very helpful because we were busy rebooking them on another carrier for their connecting flight to ATH during one of the sudden LH strikes, one which the YVR ground staff apparently hadn’t known about when boarding them.

    We just recently used free WiFi on Icelandair between SEA-KEF. It didn’t work in the middle of the flight but it did for much of it.

  12. WIfi used to be $1 on Emirates and now it’s free.
    All A380s have WiFi and some 777s have it, around 2 or 3 get fitted with the WiFi module every month.

    American Airlines live in the past.

  13. I’ve pre purchased for a couple of years, in fact I like to have a spare $16 pass in my GoGo account in case (as is likely) I forget to buy one right before my flight.

  14. Thanks for the tip.

    I went to the GoGo website and noticed that there was a deal going to purchase a Delta Global Day Pass for $28 and get one day free, that makes it $14 per day. The deal happened to be ending today Feb 29. Thankfully it’s still Feb 29 in the USA although here in Australia it’s now March 1.

    The two passes will come in handy for my LAX-JFK Delta flights in June

  15. Lucky, you posted about a month ago that you were buying a HooToo Wireless Travel Router. Did you receive it? If so, why couldn’t you have used that to give Ford access to wifi (at no additional charge)?

  16. I buy the $16 gogo passes all the time and keep a few in my account since they don’t expire for a year. It would be cheaper to have a monthly pass, but my employer won’t pay for that — even though I probably submit reimbursement for 10 day passes each month! It was the best kept secret ever until now!

  17. I can’t believe how sleazy these GoGo guys are. This is new. On my last flight after I logged off I noticed that they changed the “WiFi” icon in my System Tray (those icons where the clock is) from the standard “Wifi Waves” to their “GoGo” icon (a little plane.) It didn’t go away for a few days so I started to try to change it back and it’s impossible.

    A quick search of Google shows that a lot of people are complaining. Apple posted a way to change the icons back. I haven’t found a way to fix this on Windows 10. I called GoGo and they claim that they want a screen shot and will send me a way to fix it. I haven’t heard back yet.

    Unbelievable. What a bunch of scumbags to make changes to a customer’s computer without their permission.

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