Mark tech trebuchet

Free Gogo Inflight Internet for the holidays, but just for Facebook


Once again, our friends at Gogo Inflight Internet are offering an in-the-sky freebie with a twist. In the past, we've seen free Wi-Fi on Delta, free Wi-Fi just to access Twitter, or even free Wi-Fi for everyone for the holidays, sponsored by Google.

This year, the on-board Wi-Fi provider is offering free access to their service across seven airlines, from December 23rd through December ...

Use Boingo for three months for $10 in your pocket?!


How many services can you think of where you can subscribe for three months and end up with $10 more than you started with? That's just about the deal right now with Boingo, the Wi-Fi provider I've talked about a few times before. Their usual $9.95/month rate currently carries an intro price of $4.98/month for the first three months, and after your second month as a subscriber you get a $25 ...

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Free DISH TV on your own device on Southwest

Glued to the TV

Thanks to our friends at Zatz Not Funny! for the heads-up that Southwest Airlines is offering free in-flight streaming TV to passengers on all of their Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft. The service carries a selection of DISH Network live TV and on-demand programming through their Row 44 satellite-based Wi-Fi provider.

Southwest's blog post (warning, nasty auto-start video with sound) says, "The ...

How far would you go to avoid a luggage up-charge?

Baggage fees have certainly become one of the big bugaboos of the travel industry over the last several years. Airlines have gone from offering two free bags to one free bag to no free bags, with notable exceptions like Southwest's "Bags Fly Free" promotion. Some airlines also offer free checked bags for their reward program credit card holders, or elite members of their reward programs. Some ...

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Should airline pilots have Wi-Fi access? Southwest and other airlines say yes

More and more pilots are being given access to iPads, Android-based Galaxy tablets, and other electronic devices for use in the cockpit. Replacing fifty pounds of manuals and charts with a three-pound tablet sounds like an easy call. But should pilots have access to Wi-Fi during flight?

An Apex blog post (Apex is the Airline Passenger Experience Association) quotes pilots who wish they ...

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Speaking of Gogo, a killer holiday travel giveaway


The folks at Gogo, whose inflight Wi-Fi gear we just showed off last week, are doing a giveaway for the next several days that really warms the heart of this techie traveler. Their "Ultimate Travel Fashion Kit" includes a rolling carry-on and a tote from Tumi, a MacBook Air, unlocked iPhone 5, Canon Rebel T3i, Amazon Kindle Fire, and more.

I'm pretty happy with my iPhone 4S, ...

Ever wonder what Gogo Inflight Internet gear looks like?


Thanks to Gogo for sharing this picture of its satellite- and ground-based Internet equipment on its Facebook page, we get a peek of the gear that provides Wi-Fi service in mid-air.

I've written a lot about Gogo, including the free 15 minutes they offered on Delta, their discounted rates on redeyes, and even just-plain-free service sponsored by Google for the holidays two years ago. ...

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Free Gogo Inflight Internet on Delta Air Lines? Yes please!


I've thought all along that giving people a taste of in-flight Internet service is the best way to sell it to them. The industry king, Gogo Inflight Internet, has had occasional freebie promotions, including free Wi-Fi sponsored by Google for the 2010 holiday season, but the service was just plain free for several weeks. Or, free access to Twitter, and only Twitter. This time, it's 15 free ...

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Really, Wyndham? You'll send me to the movies? You don't say!


Normally, I don't mind getting e-mail updates from airline and hotel reward programs. The monthly update on my point balance is sometimes a nice reminder that I've got a free flight or a free night coming to me, and the occasional special offers come in handy, too.

I've just about had it with Wyndham Rewards, though. There are ten e-mails in my inbox over the last few weeks about their ...

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Outlets everywhere at the Hampton Inn Green Bay!


Not long ago, I saw a traveler ranting on Yelp or Foursquare or some other social media site about inadequate electrical outlets at a hotel. He called the owners "stupid" for not adding lots of electrical outlets throughout the room, especially near the bed.

Of course, no property owner wants to provide inadequate electrical wiring for guests' needs, especially as personal portable ...

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It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your TomTom is?


TomTom, the popular GPS equipment and navigation software company, revealed this week that a "leap year" bug in the software installed on several models prevented the units from finding their locations. The company has released a "mandatory software update" for several models.

Starting on Sunday, April 1st, the glitch meant users couldn't use their TomTom devices to find their way. ...

NetZero's back, this time with free wireless broadband?!


Do you remember NetZero? Back in the late '90s, the company offered free dialup Internet access if you were willing to view ads on a little strip on your computer screen while online, but here in 2012, they're offering free 4G cellular broadband connections.

Announced today, the NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband service allows up to 200 MB per month on a free plan, then offers paid service ...

Is free hotel Internet worth what you pay for it?


Travelers need Wi-Fi. We're long past the point where just about any hotel can get away with having no Internet access at all, even if more and more travelers are showing up with devices that pack their own cellular connections. But are travelers who demand free Internet access getting only what they pay for?

I admit, I like choosing a hotel that offers complimentary Internet access. ...

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Please, iPhone, just another few minutes of juice!


A couple of years ago, I bought a Splash O2 external battery case for my iPhone 3GS. It made the phone much bulkier, but made the battery last much, much longer. On busy travel, hockey game, or conference days, it sometimes made the difference between having a working phone at the end of the day, or not. So, I charged it up and popped it on the phone before such trips, but otherwise left it in ...

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Print your own Spirit Airlines boarding pass, or else!

Spirit Airlines, which I admit I admire for being the first airline to charge for carry-on luggage, has just said they'll start charging a $5 fee for passengers who need an airline agent to print their boarding pass for them at the airport. Is this, too, a reasonable "extra" the airline can charge for, letting passengers choose?

Spirit says passengers can skip the fee by printing ...

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Charge up your iPhone, but wear sunscreen


We've mentioned a couple of solar-charging options for electronic handheld devices in passing, but couldn't resist the opportunity to talk about this latest approach: the solar bikini.

Solar Coterie is now taking orders for custom bikinis fitted with 1x4-inch photovoltaic film strips, connected via conductive thread and ending in a 5-volt regulator with a USB port. Plug in your iPod, ...

Sorry, says Southwest Airlines: No iTunes for you!


Southwest Airlines announced they'd be celebrating their 40th anniversary by offering free downloads of a 40-song playlist from the iTunes Store through July 31st. Sadly, while they handed out promo codes with a "use by" date, they left out the detail that there was a limit to the total number of code redemptions allowed. 

"We had an allotted number of codes to download, and the offer was so popular, they were all redeemed in less than a week," a Southwest spokesperson told the Associated Press. The company isn't saying the total number of downloads they'd arranged with Apple, just that it was "in the six figures."

If you got a promo code from Southwest and you thought you had two months to redeem it, turns out you were wrong! Did you get stuck with a worthless promo code and nothing to listen to?

What? You want me to turn off my book?

As e-readers gain popularity, along with general-purpose tablets that can be used to read books and magazines, more and more travelers are boarding flights without the formerly omnipresent book or magazine. Of course, they're being told to turn off all electronic devices for take-off and landing, which for some nervous travelers is when they most need a little distraction.

The airline ...

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Got friends and family in Japan? Check on them free.

Just as everyone is, we're overwhelmed at the images and videos coming out of Japan, where countless residents and travelers are affected by last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami. We're happy to pass along, though, that AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and Verizon are all offering free calling and text messages to Japan for their U.S. customers who want to check on loved ...

Gogo "on any device" for $9.99 instead of $12.95

Thanks to flight attendant blogger and frequent traveler Bobby Laurie for the tip that a Gogo Inflight Internet flight pass is $2 cheaper if you buy it on your mobile device first. The company's flight pass, good on any WiFi enabled device," lets you sign on and purchase on any device and then use it on your other devices, so you might as well buy it where it's cheaper.

Bobby discovered (we haven't had a chance to try this ourselves) that the $12.95 flight pass is just $9.99 if you sign up on your cell phone or tablet's web browser, and then you can use it on your laptop, too.

He suggests using the $2 savings to buy a can of Pringles, but I'll be using it to buy a snack for my next flight attendant!

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