GENIUS FLIGHT HACK: Free Wi-Fi on US Air, AA, Delta, and More!

Posted in Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Domestic US, In the Air

Internet, prepare to be rocked. A user on Reddit just posted an amazing LPT (Life Pro Tip) for getting free wi-fi on your next flight. We’ll let the Redditor, dollinsdv, share the good news:

I accidently discovered this little trick while flying yesterday and I’m almost hesitant to share it for fear that the airline will notice and fix it. But it’s just too good not to share.

I don’t know if this applies to every US Airways flight, but this is for those flights that do not have any televisions and the airline lets you order and watch movies on your own devices. But in order to play the movies on your phone or tablet, the site will ask if you have the Gogo Video Player App. Full disclaimer, I was using an iPhone, though I would imagine this works for all devices but I haven’t tested it. Now, if you don’t have the app, it will connect you to the App Store and let you download it. Hit download and this is the moment when it seems to give you access to the internet, not just the App store! It seems to give you about a ten minute window of connection. I had no problem browsing reddit, getting text messages, etc. It may just be ten minutes, but considering they want an obsene amount of money for just thirty minutes, it’s not too shabby. And the beautiful part is you can keep repeating the process. Just delete the app, and start again.

In case that’s too long for you, follow these steps:

1. Pick a movie or TV show.

2. When it directs you to the App Store to download the Gogo app, internet will start flowing through your computer like manna from digital heaven.

3. Enjoy the internet and repeat steps 1 and 2 when the connection is reset.

That’s it! No more outrageous internet fees in the sky. I believe this will work with all Gogo-enabled flights, not just US Air. Not sure yet if it extends beyond Apple products (as the original poster referenced), but I’m almost certain it will.

Basically, they need to allow you access to some internet juice to download the Gogo app to watch the movie you want to buy. There’s no way to determine if you’re actually downloading the app or something else, so they essentially leave the faucet on for a while to let you download.

Now, it may be annoying to go through this process every ten minutes or so, but I’d rather be a little annoyed at the steps to getting free web access than a lot annoyed at paying nearly $20 for four hours of wi-fi.

So there you have it. The best flight hack of the year, in my opinion.




  1. Considering Gogo’s download speeds are incredibly slow it could take a while to download.

    More importantly, here another LPT: pause the app while it’s downloading. That might keep the firehouse open the entire flight!

  2. If they did not know about the access leak before, they sure do now! If it is not plugged before Monday morning, I will be shocked. Now… back to my book. O.G.

  3. Oh, how I understand your dilemma; six vs. a half-dozen. If you do not publish it, no one will benefit. If you do, (have done) the carriers fill find it and then find a means to block it. This is much the same debate as that surrounding Mistake Fares and you just cannot win. In this case, the argument is strongly in favor of publishing the messy work-around. Why? Gogo’s service is already do horribly slow -and abusively expensive, precious few (beyond AvGeeks and ITGeeks) are really interested. I simply do without. If it is a very long flight and IFE appears questionable, (think carrier, route and hardware) I pre-load my own device with whatever IFE I may want, and enough for both major segments.
    Funny, but why did I think this blog’s focus was Flying Food? My error and thanks for the tip. I think.

  4. Fyi-gogo can limit what has access by simple thing as port firwarding but whoever their IT guys were are dumb. Must be americans.

    • Two things.

      I’m not sure I would go with “abusively expensive.” Given the cost of a theater movie these days, which is doing exactly what in flight Internet is doing (keeping that rotting melon you call a brain distracted from real life and generally entertained) at twice the price for the same amount of time, it seems right in line. Plus there’s the other part… Remember when inflight internet didn’t exist? You know, like just a couple of years ago? Like when you had to read? Or just sit there and (don’t say it…) think? To expect that a service which virtually didn’t exist in the previous decade should be ubiquitous, fast and cheap is a little unrealistic. As a contrast, take satellite data (via INMARSAT or Iridium or any other provider). This is a well-established and mature service. BUT,these connections are measured in the KILObytes PER MINUTE, and costs hundreds of dollars per hour. And when it’s needed, it saves lives, and is worth every penny.

      The Gogo Air-to-ground service is miles ahead of that sort of thing in speed and economy, and it allows me to actually work while airborne. I consider that damned near a miracle, and I’ll pay for it every time.

      Second, I take umbrage to the IT and Americans comment. Firstly, because it doesn’t appear to be anything but a troll by an unhappy human being. But secondly, you can say what you want about the dilution of the IT and Computer Science talent pool in America (which I’m not convinced is any less serious anywhere else on the globe, frankly), but this cute little “Internet” thing wouldn’t exist at all without the efforts of technologists in this very same country.

  5. So you’re the guy that’s been using up the limited bandwidth that we get while flying, to keep re-downloading an app that you could have & should have downloaded before you boarded the plane.

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