My fellow BoardingArea.com blogger Points Miles & Martinis on Twitter yesterday (he goes by “The Weekly Flyer“) griped to me and a few others about just how long it will be until GoGo is faster on Delta jets.
I feel his pain. There are days when GoGo on Delta is amazingly fast and worth every penny. There are other times it is so slow that it is basically worthless. It’s funny, when you think about it, GoGo speed is kinda like SkyMiles 2015. When you find a good price it is amazing and nice, but other times just disappointing and frustrating!
So when is it going to get faster? GoGo mentioned and replied in the tweet that it is working on it. To be more specific than that tweet GoGo said in a press release back in February the following:
“Gogo expects to begin 2Ku installations by 2016 and will continue deploying new technologies to the fleet over several years. In addition to the 2Ku award, Delta will partner with Gogo in the launch of next generation air to ground technologies for short-haul domestic aircraft flying within the U.S.” – BOLD MINE
So, it is going to be a while if they only expect to begin installs by 2016. Just at the end of May they announced testing approvals for the new fast technology. How fast you ask?
“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is expected to deliver peak speeds of 70 Mbps at launch, which is 20 times the bandwidth of its original air to ground technology. Gogo expects peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps as spotbeam Ku satellites become available. More bandwidth will offer Gogo the opportunity to go beyond passenger connectivity and work with Delta on the development of operational applications and services.” – BOLD MINE
That sounds GREAT! I, and PM&M apparently, can’t wait. I think all of us who are regular users of GoGo look forward to that day and it IS coming – we just have to wait a little longer.
At the Freddie Awards in Atlanta in May I spoke to the GoGo rep. He is a great guy and PR contact for GoGo. Trust me when I say they want to make the faster GoGo happen as much as we want to use it. He told me they are working on a test flight and will invite bloggers, maybe me included, to ride around and test the new technology and blog all we want from the air and our live results. First off, what a brilliant PR move (if it works) and I will be happy to ride along and geek out yelling about how great it is (if it is great that is).
On Delta, as we all should know at this point, it is on just about every jet Delta flies other than the cursed 50 seat regional jets. Even CRJ7/9s have GoGo installed (love that). It really is rare that GoGo is not working (somewhat) on a Delta flight. That is a reason to fly Delta I have to say.
So until that time comes, some reminders to get max value out of GoGo under the current technology. If, before you fly, you get a 24hr mobile pass, that is a great value. I have shown how, if you have the ability to either USB tether or Bluetooth share, you can use this for your phone AND for your other devices (ie sharing the one connection).
Depending on how many flights I am going to take in a month I do the simple math, that is, buying 24h passes vs a $49.95 one month unlimited Delta fee works out to 6 days of flying. Many months that is a better deal than subscribing and having to hassle with canceling (or risking forgetting to do so and being billed for another month of service if I don’t need it).
Also really worth keeping in mind is the perk of the 10 yearly free GoGo passes from the non-Delta The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN <—LINK (no you can not get this from the personal card). I setup a separate GoGo login for those and can even use them on international flights and that is an amazing value (in addition to all the other amazing perks from the card to begin with).
While I am hard on GoGo when it does not work, I cut them a lot of slack because most times the service does work “enough” to get things done. They are, after all, the only game in town and some connectivity is MUCH better than no connectivity. That is not to say I am not looking forward to faster speeds and can’t wait to see if the results will be as good as they have said they will be! – René