Saturday, January 11, 2020

American Express Platinum's race to the bottom: Gogo Inflight Internet Wifi Passes gone

The end to half a decade of free Internet

American Express recently announced that the era of free Internet passes on Gogo enabled flights like Delta is over, and also goes the same for Boingo Internet services.

I was recently surprised to find this out on my flights back home. My Gogo passes were no longer available.

Launched in 2014, these Internet passes were especially valuable for business travelers that could connect to the Internet while on flights, a perk roughly that translated to $1600 in savings per year if you totaled up the monthly cost of Internet services on major airlines and airports.

Amex, a race to the bottom

There's various cards out there now that compete with American Express from baggage insurance to airline credits.

Internet passes were real differentiators, considering the card has a $595 annual fee. However, with the parent company being 14.1x debt levels above it's operating profit, and weak growth prospects, I understand that the race to the bottom in reducing costs with the excuse that the perk isn't used as much by members, is likely the main reason and driver.

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