GoGo to offer free Weather.com access for smartphones on airlines
By Kari Jensen
December 27, 2013
GoGo will offer free, in-flight mobile Wi-Fi to passengers who connect to Weather.com on its airline partners starting next year.
By adding the mobile component to any Gogo-equipped aircraft, the company will expand its current program that offers the free Weather.com access to laptop users. Gogo is meeting passenger demands for up-to-the-minute weather information in-flight, and betting that once connected, users will pay to browse other Web sites.
"I like the GoGo, Weather Channel partnership because it creates a very unique advertising audience for the Weather Channel – people who are traveling," said Alex Campbell, co-founder and CIO of Vibes, Chicago. "This audience is extremely valuable for advertisers – and really only works using mobile."
Mr. Campbell is not affiliated with Gogo. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.
A Gogo app screenshot
Weather to go
Passengers who log onto Weather.com and wunderground.com through Gogo will have free access to the sites.
All they need is a Web enabled laptop for now -- or smartphone or tablet starting soon after the start of 2014.
Many passengers want to know what the weather conditions will be at their destination cities.
In October, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it would allow consumers to use their mobile devices below 10,000 feet in the air - within the U.S. - opening up new opportunities for airlines in mobile (see story).
Passengers who log onto the Internet with any Web enabled device, will automatically be directed to Gogo's Web site. From there they can simply connect to Weather.com or wunderground.com through the Gogo homepage.
The Gogo mobile application is available for free download for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry mobile devices.
Whether to connect
When in flight, the Gogo app will detect if a user is on the Gogo network.
Inflight-connectivity is available on more than 2,000 Gogo equipped commercial aircraft, from airlines such as American Airlines, Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.
Gogo also leverages the checkout feature for its in-flight Wi-Fi (see story).
Passengers can only access the free Weather.com page or opt to pay to surf to other Web sites.
Vibes' Mr. Campbell said airline passengers are the ideal consumers for mobile Wi-Fi.
"You can’t really target travelers while they’re in the act of traveling without mobile," he said.
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York
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