If you’re a registered Milepoint member, you’ll have full access to the site without paying for internet access. If you haven’t registered for Milepoint, you will be able to read the site but you cannot post your own comments. (You won’t be able to register inflight, since registration requires confirming your identity by email — and you won’t have access to your email for free. As a result you may want to register at Milepoint before you fly.)
Onboard internet has changed my life. I never really knew what I was missing before I started flying American more often three months ago. I used to take a flight during the business day and I’d be hours behind with work, I’d have scores of unanswered emails. Now, when flying with onboard internet, I’m both more productive inflight and less stressed when I land because I don’t have the backup from questions and random messages I’ve been copied on.
The onboard internet uptake remains relatively low on most aircraft, though Virgin America reports that it’s as high as 25% on its San Francisco – Boston flights. That’s actually good for me, since it helps the speed of the service when others aren’t competing for bandwidth (the inflight wireless services are certainly looking at ways to increase bandwidth over time). Airlines aren’t yet breaking even by offering the service, in terms of having fees cover the costs of providing access. But enough people will book away from those carriers that don’t offer internet that they find it necessary to offer. I know I’ve become one of those customers.
But sometimes you don’t want to pay, or your employer won’t reimburse, and so for three months as a nice introduction to inflight internet Gogo is making Milepoint available for free. Which, I have to say, is just so cool…