Gogo WiFi and T-Mobile Partner Up For Free In-flight Texting

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One of my favorite things about flying these days is the ability to text message inflight, which is powered by Gogo WiFi. It’s a great service and makes flying go by a lot quicker, but it can be expensive.



Gogo announced a new partnership with T-Mobile to deliver free in-flight texting and voicemail to their customers on all Gogo equipped U.S. airline aircraft. Beginning September 17, T-Mobile customers can exclusively use this new in-flight service on more than 2,000 commercial aircraft operating in the U.S.

The deal allows customers of the Un-carrier to send and receive text and picture messages as well as visual voicemail using their own smartphone and phone number over Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi system−completely free of charge.

“One of our goals is to engage the entire plane with our connectivity enabled products and services, whether that’s by helping to keep passengers productive, entertained or simply connected to friends and family on the ground,” said Gogo’s president and CEO, Michael Small.  “By offering T-Mobile customers the ability to freely text and receive voicemail in flight, we are engaging a certain segment of the plane who might not want a full connectivity session, but still wants to reach out to their network on the ground.”

To access the free messaging and voicemail services, T-Mobile customers will need to have their Wi-Fi Calling-enabled phone in airplane mode and connected to Gogo Wi-Fi.  From there, they simply launch their browser, verify they’re a T-Mobile customer, and follow the instructions.  Making just one Wi-Fi call prior to flight will activate Wi-Fi Calling−which must be activated on their phone prior to the first use of the free in-flight Gogo Wi-Fi service. 

Bottom Line

If you have T-Mobile you are in luck for when it comes to inflight as you will now be able to text and see your voicemail. Do you think other phone companies will follow?

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Glad to see this kind of development coming to the US finally. Korean carriers have piped up all subway lines in the country, trains, etc., and as long as you’re on one of their plans it comes “included”. Think “wifi hotspots” that you might actually use.

  2. On my flight on Alaska yesterday I had access to alaskaairlines.com (so far expected) and google.com – anything that runs under the domain was available incl. Google Flights.

    I’d wish they make iMessage (the Apple texting service free as well). GoGo is too slow for serious Internet work anyways.

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