Re(al)view: Gogo Inflight's Friendly Skies WiFi

Re(al)view: Gogo Inflight's Friendly Skies WiFi

Sonia Zjawinski
Dec 15, 2008

This post comes to you from 35,000 feet. Yup, we're surfing the web from seat 38H on American Airlines flight from San Francisco to New York. After a week away visiting the family we boarded our jumbo jet only to find that it's been equipped with Gogo Inflight's new air friendly WiFi service. We immediately signed up for access and logged on. Our online priorities ranged from getting on IM to boast to all our friends that we were currently 35,000 feet above Lake Tahoe, then to Hulu for our Jon Stewart fix, and then to you Unplggd readers.

Sending out email was super fast, even with attachments. IM of course was fast as well. Surfing sites like the New York Times, Apartment Therapy, and Gmail was relatively fast as well. Think DSL.

After the jump our full review of working (and procrastinating) from the friendly skies along with an explanation of how this cool new inflight feature works...

Gogo Inflight works by using high speed cellphone data signals that are pointed at specific planes that use the service. It costs between 10 and 13 bucks depending on the duration of your flight and is available on American and Virgin airlines. We logged onto Speakeasy's Speed Test to check out what down- and up-loading speeds we were getting. When over Cali we clocked 989 kbps download speeds and 309 upload speeds, and up to 1300 DL speeds a we traveled across the country.

We launched Hulu at one point during our flight, which was the only place we really had any hiccups. Streaming would occasionally stall, but we just paused and buffered for a bit and then things we get back on schedule.

All in all, we'd highly recommend the service for those who spend a lot of time working from the air rather than their homes. Our only gripe is that our laptop battery conked out before we were ready to sign off. American should really invest in powering spots in their cabins for work- (or surf-) aholics like ourselves.

Photo: Fly for Fun

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