No free text with ViaSat?

Old Nov 22, 19, 12:24 pm
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No free text with ViaSat?

I was on an old Virgin plane last night with inflight entertainment. When I went to take advantage of free texting, the only option I got on my phone was to pay $10.99 for high speed internet. I asked the flight attendant and she basically claimed ignorance of all things technical, and blamed it on the old plane. Old plane with superfast internet and no free texting? Is this a sign of things to come, or a temporary problem until they get the free entertainment on your personal device?
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Old Nov 22, 19, 12:31 pm
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I think I ran into this a couple months ago, but I decided it wasn't critical on a redeye (N843VA, SEA-IAD)
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Old Nov 22, 19, 12:37 pm
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Viasat doesn't have the deal with TMobile/free texting that GoGo does. So until the planes standardize on GoGo you'll run into this.

(emphasis added)

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...rtainment/wifi

"The new service made its debut in April 2018, and will expand to most of our Boeing fleet (except 737-700 aircraft) and the entire Airbus fleet by the end of 2020. As this gradual installation of satellite Wi-Fi continues, check back here to stay updated on our progress."
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Old Nov 22, 19, 12:39 pm
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So does that mean as more planes get equipped with ViaSat our free text option will be gone? It was a nice, albeit not critical perk for me.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by sjbsf View Post
So does that mean as more planes get equipped with ViaSat our free text option will be gone? It was a nice, albeit not critical perk for me.
No, you're misunderstanding. The fleet is being equipped with high-speed GoGo satellite service. ViaSat is going away.

From my link above:

Until our new satellite Wi-Fi is installed, some A320 and A321 aircraft will continue to use the ViaSat Wi-Fi service that was offered by Virgin America.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by sjbsf View Post
I was on an old Virgin plane last night with inflight entertainment. When I went to take advantage of free texting, the only option I got on my phone was to pay $10.99 for high speed internet. I asked the flight attendant and she basically claimed ignorance of all things technical, and blamed it on the old plane. Old plane with superfast internet and no free texting? Is this a sign of things to come, or a temporary problem until they get the free entertainment on your personal device?
This is supposedly temporary as they phase out Viasat and move to Gogo2ku, though will probably take a few years. I always write in to Alaska Listens about the issue, and point out the seatback cards are actively promoting a product that is not available (somewhat false advertising, though am sure the fine print covers them). Usually just get a boilerplate response about "upgrading" Airbus aircraft to align with the rest of the Alaska fleet, though have gotten a discount code once or twice for it. Have also found Viasat is particularly lenient with providing complimentary passes for future use and/or refunds if their service isn't working well (i.e., promise of ability to stream video and it's buffering, etc)

Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Viasat doesn't have the deal with TMobile/free texting that GoGo does.
The free texting is something Alaska promotes on all flights, but correct, the free hour (or full flight if you're on the premium TMo offering) is also not valid on Viasat-equipped planes. Have been pleasantly surprised to see that it continues to work on Gogo 2ku equipped aircraft as well, though. Best $5/mo I spend.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:30 pm
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Itís confusing because right now there are Airbuses flying with Gogo ATG-4, Gogo 2ku, and ViaSat. I actually wrote in about Gogo 2ku not working at all on a newly reconfigured A320. The customer care rep obviously didnít read what I wrote carefully as they wrote back apologizing (erroneously) for a problem with ViaSat WiFi and telling me to look forward to their new upgraded WiFi. Per the Alaska fleet status page, ViaSat is only on ships 281-286 and 362-365, which are sharklet equipped, as yet non-reconfigured A320s. And the one 321neo that hasnít gone in for cabin mods.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
I think I ran into this a couple months ago, but I decided it wasn't critical on a redeye (N843VA, SEA-IAD)
Originally Posted by sltlyamusd View Post
... Per the Alaska fleet status page, ViaSat is only on ships 281-286 and 362-365, which are sharklet equipped, as yet non-reconfigured A320s. And the one 321neo that hasnít gone in for cabin mods.
now that I see this, I have to amend my earlier testimony ... it was 285, LAX-IAD redeye ... I evidently associated the missing texting capability with a flight where I missed the upgrade
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by sltlyamusd View Post
Itís confusing because right now there are Airbuses flying with Gogo ATG-4, Gogo 2ku, and ViaSat. I actually wrote in about Gogo 2ku not working at all on a newly reconfigured A320. The customer care rep obviously didnít read what I wrote carefully as they wrote back apologizing (erroneously) for a problem with ViaSat WiFi and telling me to look forward to their new upgraded WiFi. Per the Alaska fleet status page, ViaSat is only on ships 281-286 and 362-365, which are sharklet equipped, as yet non-reconfigured A320s. And the one 321neo that hasnít gone in for cabin mods.
Probably too late to do so now, but I find when there are significant service issues and they provide a basic dummy response that doesn't entirely match what your issue is, a reply back re-explaining what happened can lead to a better resolution. This might not be a huge deal or worth it, but keep in mind for other issues. I feel like they probably quickly address dozens of AS listens feedback reports an hour and may not always be paying proper attention or understanding the issue correctly.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by be_rettSEA View Post
Probably too late to do so now, but I find when there are significant service issues and they provide a basic dummy response that doesn't entirely match what your issue is, a reply back re-explaining what happened can lead to a better resolution. This might not be a huge deal or worth it, but keep in mind for other issues. I feel like they probably quickly address dozens of AS listens feedback reports an hour and may not always be paying proper attention or understanding the issue correctly.
Forgot to mention they included a $25 discount code, so I was happy with the outcome. Had they wrote back misunderstanding what I wrote and offering nothing, I would probably have written again.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 3:55 pm
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Viasat texting is free. Unlike the Gogo free texting, you don’t have to select anything to get it. Once you agree to the Viasat terms and conditions you automatically get free texting.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 10:21 pm
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I’m on the 320s a lot, and once you have hooked up to the WiFi the texting is automatic. Often you can tell on an iPhone where your screen notices start popping in immediately so you know you are on the internet. At that point you can text. This seems to work on about 90% of my flights with the odd one where I can never get it to work.
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Old Nov 23, 19, 12:45 am
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Originally Posted by be_rettSEA View Post
This is supposedly temporary as they phase out Viasat and move to Gogo2ku, though will probably take a few years. I always write in to Alaska Listens about the issue, and point out the seatback cards are actively promoting a product that is not available (somewhat false advertising, though am sure the fine print covers them). Usually just get a boilerplate response about "upgrading" Airbus aircraft to align with the rest of the Alaska fleet, though have gotten a discount code once or twice for it. Have also found Viasat is particularly lenient with providing complimentary passes for future use and/or refunds if their service isn't working well (i.e., promise of ability to stream video and it's buffering, etc)


The free texting is something Alaska promotes on all flights, but correct, the free hour (or full flight if you're on the premium TMo offering) is also not valid on Viasat-equipped planes. Have been pleasantly surprised to see that it continues to work on Gogo 2ku equipped aircraft as well, though. Best $5/mo I spend.
What's $5/month, upgrading your T-Mobile plan to the one that gets you internet for a full flight?
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Old Nov 23, 19, 12:49 am
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Originally Posted by sltlyamusd View Post
Itís confusing because right now there are Airbuses flying with Gogo ATG-4, Gogo 2ku, and ViaSat. I actually wrote in about Gogo 2ku not working at all on a newly reconfigured A320. The customer care rep obviously didnít read what I wrote carefully as they wrote back apologizing (erroneously) for a problem with ViaSat WiFi and telling me to look forward to their new upgraded WiFi. Per the Alaska fleet status page, ViaSat is only on ships 281-286 and 362-365, which are sharklet equipped, as yet non-reconfigured A320s. And the one 321neo that hasnít gone in for cabin mods.
Originally Posted by be_rettSEA View Post
Probably too late to do so now, but I find when there are significant service issues and they provide a basic dummy response that doesn't entirely match what your issue is, a reply back re-explaining what happened can lead to a better resolution. This might not be a huge deal or worth it, but keep in mind for other issues. I feel like they probably quickly address dozens of AS listens feedback reports an hour and may not always be paying proper attention or understanding the issue correctly.
If you have an issue with the wifi I would complain to Gogo or ViaSat. Especially if what you're looking for is a refund.
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Old Nov 23, 19, 2:54 am
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What type of phone do you have and what OS are you running? I found that with my iPhone with iOS 13 I had to go to Preferences -> Safari -> Request Desktop Website and turn it off. It also affected my ability to watch movies, because I got the message to install Flash instead of using the GogoApp.
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