Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

My experience with Gogo wifi on a SFO-JKF p.s. flight

My experience with Gogo wifi on a SFO-JKF p.s. flight

Old Mar 10, 12, 1:10 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Seattle
Programs: UA 1P MM
Posts: 730
My experience with Gogo wifi on a SFO-JKF p.s. flight

I decided to try the Gogo wifi service on a recent p.s. flight SFO-JFK. I paid $14.99, onboard (apparently, you can save a couple of bucks if you purchase in advance, as I learned later).

I was disappointed with the connection speed and, later, had this interaction with the Gogo help desk:

Gogo Rep: Welcome to Gogo. My name is Gogo Rep.

SeattleFred: Hi Gogo Rep. Is Gogo performance always so sluggish? On my UA SFO-JFK flight a few days ago, I had 0.19Mbs down and 0.12Mbs up. Pathetic and certainly not worth the $14.99 I paid.

Gogo Rep: Hello Fred, I am sorry to hear you are getting a slow connection. May I ask what in general you are using the service for? E-mail, videos or reading the news?

SeattleFred: At that speed, videos were not a possibility. All I could do was check email and visit simple websites. I was hoping to be able to connect to my server and fetch some files I needed.

Gogo Rep: I will check your flight. May I have your username to verify your account?

SeattleFred: Yes: SeattleFred

Gogo Rep: May I also have your flight number?

SeattleFred: UA870 on 3/xx/12

Gogo Rep: Pardon me, I though I was looking up your flight today. I am unable to check the conditions on a past flight. I can tell you that while Gogo does not support streaming media or large downloads. The service is usually quite reliable.

SeattleFred: As I asked in my first post: is Gogo performance always so sluggish? If so, I will not be purchasing it again. And I will alert my many traveling friends of what they can expect.

Gogo Rep: It is not always so sluggish, it is generally quite reliable when used within the supported parameters. There are a few factors which can slow the connection but they are uncommon and temporary.

SeattleFred: What speed should one expect? And what do you do for your customers when those expectations are not met?

Gogo Rep: The connection speed is comparable to your average public wifi connection. Taking your situation into consideration I can offer you a credit towards a future Gogo session. Shall I send that to [email protected]?

SeattleFred: Yes, please do. That will give me a chance to try it again on my return flight. Thank you.

Gogo Rep: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

SeattleFred: Are you unable to be more specific on what speed connection I can expect? Public wifi connection speeds, as you know, vary widely.

Gogo Rep: If by "more specific" you mean a number then unfortunately I cannot.

SeattleFred: So, I guess I will have to live with your deliberately vague answer. If you have something more useful, I would like to know. Otherwise, thanks for your help.

Gogo Rep: Have a nice day. Thank you for choosing Gogo. Fly classy.

Gogo Rep has disconnected.
I am still waiting for the credit to arrive in my mailbox.
SeattleFred is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 1:36 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 83
I also never received my credit they promised lol, because of the slow speed
Rcling28 is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 4:20 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, COdbaUA 1K, Hyatt Plt, Hilton GLD, SPG Plat50, Marriott Gld, Hertz PC, NEXUS/GE
Posts: 2,872
The two times where Gogo has been unusable, I've fiddled with trying to do the online chat for 15 minutes (due to timeouts, etc., go figure) and gotten a voucher within 24 hours.
FlyerChrisK is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 4:39 pm
  #4  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Easton, CT, USA
Programs: ua prem exec, Former hilton diamond
Posts: 31,801
Probably the solar flares. After all everything is the fault of them, though in this case it's probably the cause.

I usually get between 1 and 2 mb/s down (speedtest) and about a tenth that on the upload side.

So no I don't think your speed was at all usual.
cordelli is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 5:28 pm
  #5  
Company Representative - GogoAir
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: In Air. Online.
Posts: 135
Always good to hear feedback - thank you for sharing. The speeds you experienced are indeed on the low side, but several factors are important here; speed tests are not always reliable, so I usually ask whether certain apps/sites did not work as they should. 190kb/s down and 120kb/s up should be fine for most web based applications, but clearly won't feel as speedy as on a residential or business connection. Try to avoid using the speed test results as the sole guidance for whether the connection was usable.

In many cases, computers have stuff running in the background that slows things down (think Dropbox, Windows Update, Adobe Updater) or other data hungry apps. Always try and disable those when possible.

Since bandwidth is shared, the available connection is of course shared between all users . Also, in most cases, speeds will pick up pretty quickly. The start of a flight is usually busier than an hour or so into the flight.

I'll also drop my colleague at customer care a note asking to check why you did not receive your service credit - these are automated, so there is no reason why it did not go out.
Gogo is offline  
Old Mar 11, 12, 12:42 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Seattle
Programs: UA 1P MM
Posts: 730
Perhaps coincidence, but my voucher arrived 5 minutes after Gogo's post.

As for the speed test, I tried it a few times during the flightówith both speedtest.net and speakeasy.net. The results varied only slightly.

I will give it another try on JFK-SFO on Monday. Thanks for your interest, Gogo.
SeattleFred is offline  
Old Mar 11, 12, 10:07 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: LAX & EWR/JFK
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 1,426
I've had mixed results with Gogo.

One time after I signed in, and paid, it kept giving me a message, something to the effect of Gogo couldn't connect because we were under 10,000 ft, however it was full cruising altitude. I tried 2 or 3 more times during the flight and got same message.

Upon return home, I contacted Gogo and was promised a refund, but it never came.
Phil Level is offline  
Old Mar 11, 12, 11:27 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SAN
Programs: UA1K
Posts: 305
I've also had mixed results. Sometimes its works fine work e-mails and web surfing. (I do not watch videos online.) However, last week it was so unusable on an LAX-JFK flight that I wasn't even able to connect to web chat to complain about the problem.

Filled out the post-flight survey, but heard absolutely nothing back. Not sure they read those.
hmy1 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 12, 1:24 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Houston (IAH,HOU) / Kāʻanapali (JHM,OGG)
Programs: UA GS 2MM, AA P 2MM, DL PM, US P, VS G, SPG LT P, HH D, HYATT P, PC P, AVIS PC, HERTZ PLAT
Posts: 963
I was able to ssh to a server and work on some code last time I had it. I was happy with the latency.
bdraco is offline  
Old Mar 12, 12, 6:36 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Seattle
Programs: UA 1P MM
Posts: 730
Originally Posted by SeattleFred View Post
I will give it another try on JFK-SFO on Monday.
Reporting from UA 257, JFK-SFO, somewhere over Utah:

Latest speed test: .40Mb/s down, .25Mb/s up. This is twice the speed I experienced on my SFO-JFK flight last week. Still not great, but certainly an improvement.

Last edited by SeattleFred; Mar 12, 12 at 9:15 pm Reason: Decimal pt
SeattleFred is offline  
Old Mar 23, 12, 5:47 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Programs: UA Platinum Marriott Platinum
Posts: 274
So I booked JFK-LAX a month ago for next week solely to use the wifi cause I get bored so easily, but now based on the above, I dont even know if I should buy it.
krentzie is offline  
Old Mar 23, 12, 5:55 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Programs: DL SM Plat, B6 TrueBlue, UA MP, AAdvantage
Posts: 10,008
Reasonable Expectations

i fly a lot of DL now and use WiFi on virtually every flight, primarily as a work tool to check and send email.

For that purpose it's always just fine. I don't expect a lightning-fast connection given the context.

But it's great to be able to stay in touch with the office and my clients during a day of traveling in the skies.
TWA Fan 1 is offline  
Old Mar 23, 12, 6:04 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Jersey Shore/YYZ
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Gold, National Exec, Hertz PC
Posts: 12,361
Originally Posted by krentzie View Post
So I booked JFK-LAX a month ago for next week solely to use the wifi cause I get bored so easily, but now based on the above, I dont even know if I should buy it.
It's fine for e-mails and reading/responding to FT. What else do you need?
aacharya is offline  
Old Mar 23, 12, 6:06 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: SPG Platinum, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 16
Originally Posted by SeattleFred View Post
I decided to try the Gogo wifi service on a recent p.s. flight SFO-JFK. I paid $14.99, onboard (apparently, you can save a couple of bucks if you purchase in advance, as I learned later).

I was disappointed with the connection speed and, later, had this interaction with the Gogo help desk:

Gogo Rep: Welcome to Gogo. My name is Gogo Rep.

SeattleFred: Hi Gogo Rep. Is Gogo performance always so sluggish? On my UA SFO-JFK flight a few days ago, I had 0.19Mbs down and 0.12Mbs up. Pathetic and certainly not worth the $14.99 I paid.

Gogo Rep: Hello Fred, I am sorry to hear you are getting a slow connection. May I ask what in general you are using the service for? E-mail, videos or reading the news?

SeattleFred: At that speed, videos were not a possibility. All I could do was check email and visit simple websites. I was hoping to be able to connect to my server and fetch some files I needed.

Gogo Rep: I will check your flight. May I have your username to verify your account?

SeattleFred: Yes: SeattleFred

Gogo Rep: May I also have your flight number?

SeattleFred: UA870 on 3/xx/12

Gogo Rep: Pardon me, I though I was looking up your flight today. I am unable to check the conditions on a past flight. I can tell you that while Gogo does not support streaming media or large downloads. The service is usually quite reliable.

SeattleFred: As I asked in my first post: is Gogo performance always so sluggish? If so, I will not be purchasing it again. And I will alert my many traveling friends of what they can expect.

Gogo Rep: It is not always so sluggish, it is generally quite reliable when used within the supported parameters. There are a few factors which can slow the connection but they are uncommon and temporary.

SeattleFred: What speed should one expect? And what do you do for your customers when those expectations are not met?

Gogo Rep: The connection speed is comparable to your average public wifi connection. Taking your situation into consideration I can offer you a credit towards a future Gogo session. Shall I send that to [email protected]?

SeattleFred: Yes, please do. That will give me a chance to try it again on my return flight. Thank you.

Gogo Rep: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

SeattleFred: Are you unable to be more specific on what speed connection I can expect? Public wifi connection speeds, as you know, vary widely.

Gogo Rep: If by "more specific" you mean a number then unfortunately I cannot.

SeattleFred: So, I guess I will have to live with your deliberately vague answer. If you have something more useful, I would like to know. Otherwise, thanks for your help.

Gogo Rep: Have a nice day. Thank you for choosing Gogo. Fly classy.

Gogo Rep has disconnected.
I am still waiting for the credit to arrive in my mailbox.
Do you expect OC3 speeds? I often do not even get the speeds you referenced on my iPhone 4S in downtown Chicago in the middle of the day. These services are in their infancy and slow speeds should be expected while improvements are made to the technology. If you are able to check email and do very basic tasks than I would consider that 'worth it' vs. being out of touch for many hours.

Remember the days of the 14.4k modem?
cmk1493 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread