5 Ways To Save On Inflight Wifi

Filed Under: Travel Technology
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Inflight Wi-Fi has come a long way over the past several years. Back in the day inflight Wi-Fi was the exception rather than the norm, though things have changed significantly. Not only have we seen inflight Wi-Fi spread significantly, but speeds have also been greatly improved.

How To Score Discounts On Inflight Wifi

While for the most part Wi-Fi isn’t that ridiculously priced (at least when you consider that you’re in a metal tube going 500 miles per hour six miles above the earth’s surface), there are still some opportunities to save money.

Some of the better ones have come and gone, so in this post I wanted to look at five ways you can save on inflight Wi-Fi.

In no particular order, below are five ways to save.

Use An Airline Credit Card Benefit

Select airline credit cards offer discounts or statement credits for onboard Wi-Fi purchases. For example:

The right Southwest credit card will get you free Wi-Fi every day

Buy Your Gogo Wifi Pass In Advance

Gogo has variable pricing once you’re onboard a flight, and prices can differ substantially based on the route, airline, day of the week, etc.

One way to lock in a certain price is to buy a Gogo pass in advance. They sell three types of passes in advance:

  • Buy a continuous one hour pass for $9, valid on any domestic Gogo equipped plane
  • Buy a continuous 24-hour pass for $19, valid on any domestic Gogo equipped plane
  • Buy a Delta global 24-hour pass for $28, valid on any Gogo equipped Delta plane, including their international ones

The passes are all valid for a year from when they’re purchased. The one hour pass isn’t that great of a deal, while I’d say that in most cases the 24-hour pass represents significant savings, especially if you’re taking multiple flights.

In some cases, there are even better deals when buying in advance. For example, Delta sells a 24 hour Gogo domestic pass for $16 through its website.

Get A Gogo Monthly Subscription

Not only does Gogo sell Wi-Fi passes in advance, but they also sell monthly or annual subscriptions that are valid on one airline only (Alaska, American, or Delta). This can make sense if you’re a very frequent traveler on a particular airline.

The pricing is as follows:

  • $49.95 per month for a domestic pass valid with one device at a time
  • $59.95 per month for a domestic pass valid with two devices at a time
  • $69.95 per month for a Delta global plan, valid on both domestic and international Delta aircraft
  • $599 per year for a domestic pass valid with one device (which isn’t exactly much savings)

Note that American’s domestic aircraft are split between offering Gogo and Viasat. The good thing is that if you’re on a Viasat equipped plane, you can still log in with your Gogo account for free access.

Use Your T-Mobile Benefit

T-Mobile has a partnership with Gogo, which works on select American, Delta, and United planes:

  • If you have a Magenta plan, you get one hour of free Wi-Fi plus unlimited free texting for the entire flight on your mobile device
  • If you have a Magenta Plus plan, you get unlimited free Wi-Fi, including texting, for the entire flight on your mobile device

To take advantage of this just make sure that your flight features Gogo Wi-Fi, go to the log-in page, and you’ll see an option to enter your mobile number to take advantage of the perk.

Fly JetBlue Or La Compagnie

If you want high-speed Wi-Fi but don’t want to pay at all, then fly an airline with free Wi-Fi. Two airlines that come to mind as being revolutionary in that regard are JetBlue and La Compagnie. They both offer free high-speed Wi-Fi to all of their passengers with no data caps. They’re pretty exceptional in that regard.

La Compagnie offers free high-speed Wi-Fi

There are some other airlines offering free Wi-Fi, though either with data limits, or the speeds aren’t that good.

On a larger scale, airlines are working towards offering free Wi-Fi. For example, Delta is actively working towards this, and I imagine other airlines will follow them as well.

Bottom Line

Inflight Wi-Fi has come a long way, and I imagine it’s only a matter of time until it’s free on a widespread basis. In the meantime, there are options that can save you some money compared to the “sticker price” you see for Wi-Fi onboard.

Personally I have T-Mobile, so that gets me free Wi-Fi on my mobile device on all Gogo equipped aircraft. I also have a grandfathered monthly Gogo plan that gets me access on all Gogo airplanes.

Typically I just pay “out of pocket” for Wi-Fi beyond that when flying on non-US airlines, where these benefits don’t apply.

Are there any other tips for saving on inflight Wi-Fi that I missed?

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  1. A 7th way. Don’t use WIFI at all. Work offline without interruption from incoming e-mail and send the e-mails after you land.

  2. Never pay for multiple devices – pay for one and turn it into a hotspot. Laptop typically handles being the hotspot better, but needs to stay on the entire time. You can even share with neighbors!

  3. Since United bills WiFi as United Airlines it normally triggers the airline credit assuming you picked United.

  4. Can you buy Wifi on AA before your flight and still get the below credit or do you have to actually purchase while on the plane?

    The AAdvantage Aviator Red Card and AAdvantage Aviator Silver Card offer $25 and $50 annual statement credits respectively towards inflight wifi purchases

  5. If you have a recent android phone like a Google Pixel or Galaxy S10, you can rebroadcast a wifi signal. This means that I pay for wifi for one phone, and then am able to use my laptop tethered to it. Saves a ton of money vs paying for multiple devices.

  6. My employer provides me with iPass which gives me log in to use wifi on most major airlines. In works on the 3 major US carriers and quite a few international ones as well. I don’t know what the cost is but you can no longer get a consumer version only corporate accounts it seems.

  7. My AMEX Plat Gogo passes worked on CX and AC airplanes recently – not sure how you can buy passes for those airlines – since you only talk about buying for Delta in advance.

    With Amex Plat Gogo passes gone from 2020 – I think that will be a huge loss for me, since I used those passes selectively on those 12-16 hour flights…

    You got any suggestions without getting into the monthly subscriptions?

  8. O yea, those CX and AC planes were equipped with Gogo Wifi – hence I could just login to my Gogo account and redeem available passes. And the connection worked beautifully, I could make Whatsapp audio calls and another pax next to me was on Whatsapp video call for over a few hours!!!

  9. Air Lingus has been offering Free Wifi in Biz for years. Cathay P is about to roll-out Free Wifi in 1st. A few other International carriers offer Free Wifi passcodes in Biz/First cabins (thinking Swiss Air 1st). AA is considering it.

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