“It’s not me, it’s you.”
In a shocking move last Friday, American Airlines filed a lawsuit in Texas state district court against it’s in-flight internet provider, Gogo Inflight Internet. The suit states that American Airlines has found a faster internet provider and wishes to move on from GOGO. Does American mean business? Well… Wall Street definitely does. GOGO’s stock took a Thelma & Louise nosedive on Tuesday.
If you think it’s only a scare, you haven’t experienced GOGO’s bandwidth for yourself. Watching a streaming video of any length is a fool’s game with GOGO. The bandwidth battle on domestic flights is like 50 Rottweilers sharing a large pepperoni pizza. Somehow, some way, GOGO has clung to 80% of the in-flight internet market, mainly through long-time partnerships with legacy carriers American, Delta, & United.
Unlike ViaSat (the newer, faster, sexier internet mistress mentioned in Friday’s lawsuit), which can offer gate-to-gate wifi with its satellite-based service, GOGO’s *yawn* ground-to-sky technology means you have to wait until 10,000 feet of elevation before powering up (often over an hour from the time you board), and you’re cut off like a rambling Oscars speech when the plane descends below 10,000 feet on approach.
The price tag isn’t cheap for the shoddy & limited service.
Meanwhile, ViaSat boasts flexible tiered pricing on carriers like JetBlue and Virgin America. Jetblue allows free basic internet browsing for social media, news, & email, and $9/hr high-speed internet for video streaming and gaming. Virgin America allows Netflix subscribers to stream the content for free! Meanwhile, GOGO’s free services include “punching your laptop” and “screaming into a pillow.”
While we hate to see companies fail and employees laid off, many tech-savvy travelers will be glad to see GOGO upgrade their Cretaceous Period Technology© or become fossilized by the free market. Fans of GOGO are the same people who prefer a familiar smelly yellow taxi cab over a sexy Uber ride at half price.