So far, I haven't been very lucky in finding myself on aircraft with in-flight Internet access. Even if I were, I admit I'm a little put off by the price of entry, almost always north of $10 for a flight, unless you're willing to commit to buying several flights' worth of Internet access up front.
When I found myself on a US Airways plane equipped with Gogo Inflight Internet on the way home from California, recently, I briefly considered ponying up their $12.95 fee, then decided I should sleep instead. After all, it was a red-eye flight, and I was planning to go to work in the morning.
That smart decision to sleep lasted right up until the moment I discovered Gogo's "FlightNite Pass" deal. On cross-country red-eye flights, Gogo offers a special "FlightNite Pass" discount -- $5.95 to get online for the whole flight. At that price, more than half off, how could I resist? So much for sleeping.
The experience was great. The Internet connection on the flight Just Worked, and I was able to use their Wi-Fi on my iPad (I decided to leave the laptop in the overhead bin) to read and send e-mail, to tweet, and to browse web sites, including the blog my seatmate told me about. I've seen blog comments from users infuriated that they couldn't watch streaming videos with Netflix or Hulu, but to be realistic, I wouldn't expect that would work so well. (Reasonable audio streams seem to work fine.)
Will I spring for the full $12.95 price next time I'm on a daytime cross-country flight? Maybe not, but I wouldn't rule it out completely. And, if I knew I was going to be on a lot of Gogo-equipped flights in a short span of time, their monthly $34.95 pass would be an easy decision. (For now, that's discounted to $19.95 for your first month. Even better!)
The best part of choosing my iPad instead of my MacBook Pro to get online is that my battery lasted the whole flight and then some, rather than half the flight or less.