Update: This article contains mentions of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Card whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.
Inflight wifi has come a long way over the past several years. Back in the day inflight wifi was the exception rather than the norm, though things have changed significantly. Not only have we seen inflight wifi spread significantly, but speeds have also been greatly improved.
How To Score Discounts On Inflight Wifi
While for the most part wifi 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 wifi.
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 wifi purchases. For example:
- The Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card (review) and Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card (review) offer 20% savings on inflight wifi purchases
- The United℠ Explorer Card (review) offers 25% savings on inflight wifi purchases
- The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card (review) offers an $8 daily wifi credit, which is also how much Southwest charges for wifi
- The AAdvantage Aviator Red Card and AAdvantage Aviator Silver Card offer $25 and $50 annual statement credits respectively towards inflight wifi purchases
The right Southwest credit card will get you free wifi 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 wifi 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 wifi plus unlimited free texting for the entire flight on your mobile device
- If you have a Magenta Plus plan, you get unlimited free wifi, including texting, for the entire flight on your mobile device
To take advantage of this just make sure that your flight features Gogo wifi, 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 wifi but don’t want to pay at all, then fly an airline with free wifi. Two airlines that come to mind as being revolutionary in that regard are JetBlue and La Compagnie. They both offer free high-speed wifi to all of their passengers with no data caps. They’re pretty exceptional in that regard.
La Compagnie offers free high-speed wifi
There are some other airlines offering free wifi, though either with data limits, or the speeds aren’t that good.
On a larger scale, airlines are working towards offering free wifi. For example, Delta is actively working towards this, and I imagine other airlines will follow them as well.
Inflight wifi 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 wifi onboard.
Personally I have T-Mobile, so that gets me free wifi 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 wifi beyond that when flying on non-US airlines, where these benefits don’t apply.
Are there any other tips for saving on inflight wifi that I missed?