American Airlines and GoGo Inflight Can’t Be Trusted (updated)

On the day before my American Airlines flight yesterday (Flt 16 from SFO to JFK), I received an email from American Airlines with a link to check-in online.  I followed the link and received an email with my boarding pass…

The email also contained a link to find out if my plane would have in-flight wifi.  I clicked the link and it said my plane was equipped with in-flight wifi provided by GoGo.  There was a link on that page, offering a “The Summer Fun 3-Pack” special with GoGo which it promised would save me money on the fee for in-flight wifi if I purchased it before the flight so I purchased it for $19.50.

I was excited that I would have the opportunity to finish up some work I was doing for a client during my flight and I sent an email informing the client that I would be completing my work for them next day.  Now I wouldn’t have to stay up late that night completing the work before my flight the following morning – or so I thought!

The next day, once we were in the air, I turned on the wifi and started my browser only to be greeted with this message:

When I asked the flight attendant about it, she told me that the wifi in the plane we were using “has been broken for quite some time” and there would be no wifi available on this flight.  So, not only did I pre-purchase wifi access from GoGo for no reason at all, I also lost several hundered dollars worth of billable hours and upon landing, I was forced to inform my client that I was unable to complete my work for him that day as I had promised.

I guess the moral of the story is that American Airlines and GoGo can not be trusted to live up to their promise of in-flight wifi and I won’t be falling for their “bait and switch” advertising tactics in the future.

Update: American Airlines contacted me via twitter with the following message only a few hours after posting this story with this message:

@skipregan Skip, please follow and DM your flight information. We’re very sorry to hear that the Wi-Fi wasn’t working on your flight.

I was very impressed with American Airline’s quick response to my complaint and I sent them my flight information the following day.  A few days later, I received an email from Deanna L. Mudd from American Airlines Customer Relations reiterating that they were sorry about the difficulties I had with my Gogo® Inflight Internet session and that they had “taken the liberty of forwarding your concerns to the Customer Care specialists at Gogo® who should be in contact with you soon”.

A little over a week later, I received an email from Gogo Customer Care:

We would like to send our deepest apologies in regards to your service not being available on your last flight. We have gone ahead and placed a refund request on your account in the amount of $19.50 for your purchase that was made on 07/16/2012. This request will take 7 to 10 business days to process.

On 8/11/12 I received the refund on my credit card.

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