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 minutes of full Gogo service on every Delta flight through the end of June.
My bet? After enjoying fifteen minutes of updating their Facebook accounts to say "Hey, I'm online in midair!" a lot of people are going to pony up the $13-15 to get online for the rest of their flight. (Of course, a few will try sneaky ways around the time limit instead of paying for the service.)
The same is true when Gogo offers discounted rates for red-eye flights. $13+ doesn't sound worth it if you're not a business traveler who can write it off or get reimbursed, but $6? You bet.
Now all Gogo needs to do is figure out what these freebies and discount deals are telling us -- people would love to get online in the air, and will pay for it if the price is right.