Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gogo's In-Flight Wi-Fi on Alaska Airlines

Gogo's In-Flight Wi-Fi on Alaska Airlines

Here was a screenshot from Gogo's In-Flight Wi-Fi on Alaska Airlines. In contrast to Southwest's service, there was no flight progress map, thus leaving you with not much free content aside from the typical airline website and travel guides, the latter of which didn't really load properly on today's flight anyway. It did let you get access to Open Table at least, although I really didn't have much time to think about making a reservation anywhere, even with dinnertime looming ahead.

Yes, the price for access on this flight was double the price of Southwest's, but this month they were offering free access for "Web-enabled smartphones and iPod Touches"...if it could recognize your device in the first place, that is. It certainly worked on an iPhone but failed on a Symbian phone, thinking that it was a PC or tablet instead, and thus asking for a payment. And my BlackBerry's browser just didn't want to use the Wi-Fi network even though the phone was connected. Oh well.

Note that this was Alaska Airlines in a proper 737 rather than the regional Horizon Air in those little propeller-driven Bombardiers. That meant that there was no longer the free local wine and beer element provided anymore. That's too bad...I settled for a free glass of water.

Epilogue: The good folks at Gogo apparently read my post, and a product manager tried to contact me just a few days later to try to identify the BlackBerry issue, which is pretty cool. But I didn't follow up further since I suspect that the problem is my specific device's odd security policies rather than anything that Gogo could do about it on their side. I assume that most other BlackBerrys (and hopefully even mine if/when I get this one replaced) won't have a problem. Thanks to the Gogo folks for reaching out either way.

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