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Good news from the folks at Gogo: They’re taking their in-flight WiFi technology south of the border — like, way south.
Gogo is teaming up with GOL, a budget Brazilian airline, to install its next generation service — known as 2Ku — across the entire fleet. This is the first time in-flight broadband has been made available aboard a Brazilian airline, so we can only imagine this news will be very well received. In fact, not only will this bring in-flight WiFi, but there will also be the ability to access Gogo Vision and Gogo TV from each and every seat.
The only bummer? Things aren’t quite ready for launch, and the current timetable suggests this partnership will be up (in the air) and running in mid-2016. But while GOL guests are about a year away from in-flight web surfing, they can definitely start dreaming about the speeds: Gogo is promising peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft, which is about 20 times the bandwidth offered through its first-generation technology in the United States. Vroom!
Using in-flight WiFi is one of our favorite modern technological advancements. Because of it, we no longer lose a day of work when flying to a business meeting. We can also respond to email and handle any crises before we land. Social media junkies also get to keep their friends and "followers" informed of what they're doing in flight. And you can communicate with whoever is on the ground to pick you up from the airport (like we did yesterday when we texted our mom in-flight about the arrival time).
But there is just one tip you need to remember about WiFi if you are flying on American, United, Virgin America, US Airways, Delta, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, or Japan Airlines, all of which use Gogo — buy before you fly.
Purchasing an all-day pass for in-flight WiFi from Gogo's website only costs $16. Once you're in the air, the price jumps to $39, which is a completely offensive mark-up. We've heard numerous travelers complain about this and we always stress to them, "Buy it online before your flight." We've actually bought our passes while we were on the plane, waiting for the boarding process to finish.
On flights shorter than six hours, there are cheaper options for one-hour passes, as well as smartphone pricing options, but those too are inflated. Buying before flying will cost you $5 for the one-hour pass and $8 for a 24-hour smartphone pass.
Fortunately most airlines, like Virgin America and Delta, offer the option of an all-day WiFi pass at the time of booking your tickets. And that pass is the usual $16. So you can select it at the time of booking. But if you forget, do not get on that plane without buying your WiFi first.
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Did you know that today, October 29, is National Cat Day? Well it's also International Internet Day, which is a perfect coincidence if we don't say so ourselves. On this day in 1969, the first electronic message was sent over ARPANET. It's this network that developed into the internet we know and use today, no matter where we are traveling in the world.
Japan is in the process of providing free Wifi for travelers all across the country, and today one of the country's airlines has launched connectivity at 35,000 feet.
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We’ll have to wait a little bit of time, as there’s still some of this and little of that to figure out; however, it looks like Air Canada will start doing the WiFi thing aboard their North American fleet as early as May.
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We have become pretty darn accustomed to enjoying in-flight WiFi on plenty of flights to here and there, and in many case we have the folks over at Gogo to thank for the connectivity and convenience. Well as you know things cost money, and now it looks like the WiFi waves might just set you back a few more bucks.
Most of the rates and options are staying the same, but for those frequent flyers that purchase things for months at time—now’s the time to lock in the previous rate. The Traveler Pass is currently being sold for $39.95 per month, and that will get you access to any and all WiFi enabled flights aboard your one preferred airline. The option is valid now through April 13; however, if you wait too long things it sounds like things will jump up by $10 more per month.
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Virgin America has always been the US' new little airline that could, and the intrepid company has fought for every bit of cool cache they carry, helped along by introducing many "firsts."
For example, Virgin America was the first airline to produce a flight attendant-based TV show, the first airline with an advanced seatback entertainment system including food and beverage ordering functions, the first to fly nonstop between New York and Palm Springs, the first to film a movie completely on scheduled flights, and the first airline to do Instagram promotions. Now they can tack another first onto this impressive list: that of creating the first in-flight social network.
For those who have been waiting for even more up in the air connectivity in Canada, the wait is now over. Gogo has been busy at work running wires, writing code, checking settings, and doing all the behinds the scenes stuff to get things ready to go. It now looks like they have flipped the switch to go live, as they just announced that the first phase of their Canadian WiFi network is now open for business.
Things are very similar to the connectivity down in the nifty fifty, but in Canada they are pairing some of their original air-to-ground technology with some next generation stuff. There’s even some hybrid and satellite technology solutions, and these ground-to-orbit goodies can offer up peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps. Let’s just say Gogo is pretty darn happy with themselves right now, and we think rightfully so.
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Gogo Vision is coming to at least 75 new airplanes and aircraft, and the new service will make use of Gogo's Ku-band satellite service for the planes getting the connectivity. It will take some time to install for the carrier’s fleet of Boeing 737s, but they already have a goal in mind. It sounds like in-flight WiFi as well as Gogo Vision should be good to go during the second half of 2014.
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If you're taking to the skies any time in the next few days, there's a good chance that you can while away the hours with your laptop or mobile device. Thanks to the folks over at Gogo and Charmin (yeah, the toilet paper people), flyers can access Facebook for free during the busy holiday travel season.
Starting today and running through December 30th on seven airlines, Charmin will open the social media browsing session for free. "Like" friend's updates, post photos of their in-flight snack, and check out their 2013 year-in-review status update. Just be cautious because, if you start clicking on external links, you will be asked for your credit card details to fork over some cash for full access.
It’s time for the ho-ho-holiday season, and Gogo is ready to start beaming plenty of candy cane scented WiFi waves. Okay we might have made that part up, but they are looking forward to plenty of travelers logging on en route to Grandma’s for one more check of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Just as in years past they’re offering up some Holiday Bundles to help save you a few bucks while assisting with your need to stay connected. This season there are two from which to choose, as there’s one for just your mobile device and there’s one for your phone, laptop, and tablet together.
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At this point, you’ve probably heard that you can leave some electronics switched on during takeoff and landing as long as you’re doing so in airplane mode. JetBlue and Delta are the first carriers to start implementing the new relaxed rules and regulations, but there’s probably one thing that you still won’t be able to do below 10,000-feet—use the in-flight WiFi.
Carriers like American Airlines, Delta, Virgin America, United, and US Airways all utilize Gogo to get their in-flight Internet, and that’s a problem for those looking to connect on the ground. The way Gogo does its thing is based upon sending its magical WiFi signal to airplanes at cruising altitude rather than those hanging out on the ground or climbing into the skies. Gogo is looking into changing that, but for now that means you need to look elsewhere if you want to stay truly connected from takeoff to touch-down.