Boingo Extends its Roaming Network into the Air - But Doesn't Go Far Enough

Given the airline industry’s penchant for pay-as-you-go services, we won’t see “free” WiFi on planes anytime soon. Thanks to a new agreement between WiFi-hotspot provider Boingo and in-flight Wifi provider Gogo, getting online in a WiFi-enabled plane will soon get a little bit easier. The two companies just announced a new roaming agreement, which allows Boingo users to sign in to Gogo’s network by either using their Boingo credentials on Gogo’s homepage or by using Boingo’s mobile apps.

At first, this sounds great, but sadly this agreement doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay extra for in-flight WiFi if you have already have a Boingo subscription or just paid for a daily or hourly WiFi pass in the terminal. You will still have to pay $4.95, $9.95 or $12.95 per flight for laptop access, depending on the length of the flight. Smartphone users will pay $4.95 or $7.95.

If you are a current Gogo user, you will recognize these prices, as Boingo doesn’t offer any discounts or other deals for Boingo users. As it stands, this agreement feels like a missed opportunity for both companies, but hopefully we will see new plans that offer a deeper integration (and discounts) soon.