GoGo: My New Favorite Service Provider?

About a year ago, I tested GoGo's inflight WiFi service during an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York. I was impressed. Now, I'm writing this blog entry using GoGo during a short Delta flight. As I prepare for a range of business trips in 2010, GoGo could become one of my favorite service providers. Here's why.

As its name implies, GoGo is fast and simple to use. Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, Delta and United already offer GoGo WiFi on selected flights. US Airways and Virgin America are expected to join the party soon. If you look hard enough you can find free GoGo trials from many airlines. Or, the typical inflight fee is US$9.95.

Alas my favorite carrier -- JetBlue -- hasn't adopted GoGo. I tested a free, advertising-based WiFi service during a mid-2009 JetBlue flight. It was awful. The "free" WiFi was really a "walled garden" approach, meaning I could only get to a few destinations that were pre-selected by JetBlue's insanely limited menu system. How 1990s...

In fairness to Jet Blue, I need to check in with them to see what their inflight WiFi strategy is for 2010.

But back to the service at hand: GoGo. Fast, simple and effective. Web pages load as if you're connected to a traditional Ethernet network. And generally speaking, the connection seems reliable.

I realize inflight WiFi is an inflection point for some business travelers: For many of us, flying is the one time we can escape from email, voicemail and pressing deadlines. Admittedly, I usually catch up on sleep during flights. And I try to avoid email back-n-forth during flights.

Still, I generally have a panic attack if I'm away from our web sites for more than a few hours at a time. GoGo's inflight WiFi service has eliminated that panic attack.

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