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.