This has been confirmed on a Gogo-equipped flight on Alaska Air using iOS devices. I would assume it to also work on Android, but I check mine in my luggage because it’s a pile of dung.

Important note is that you need to not have the Gogo app installed. Your browser will detect it and you will not see the necessary options below. If you had the app installed, you may need to wait for a cookie to expire, restart your browser, or restart your device; I had trouble getting it to not try to use the app I didn’t have, but it eventually came around.

Step 1 – Join the in-flight wireless network
Step 2 – Open your web browser
Step 3 – Navigate to the entertainment portal
Step 4 – Select a movie to watch
Step 5 – When it asks you if you have the Gogo video app, say “no,” and click the button for the App Store.
Step 6 – Enter the confirmation code that… I don’t know what it does. I’d assume it just confirms the creation of a session.
Step 7 – When the browser directs you to the App Store, leave it
Step 8 – Enjoy your 10-15 minute (still testing to find the exact number) free online session. Check your e-mail, Facebook it up, etc.

If you use your web browser, be sure to leave a tab open to the page that prompted you to go to the App Store. If you leave this page, it can be tricky to get back to it.

After your internet goes away, go back into the page that asked you about the App Store and simply hit the App Store button again. You’ll be put back at Step 6.

Why does this work? By having to download an application from the App Store, Gogo must give your device temporary access to any location; they don’t know the exact server that will feed you their application. Since apps can take a long time to download via plane wireless, they have to give you a decent window of time in which to get it. Except you’re not going to use that time as they intended.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we cannot have nice things.