disclaimer i don’t normally fly on Gogo-equipped planes, so this might have been a fluke on my American Airlines flight yesterday from Dallas to Mexico City, but in case it’s not, here’s a way to while away the hours next time you’re on a Gogo flight.
it appears that you can access sites that are on the google.com domain for free on Gogo. the trick is to use //google.com (again, https). regular //google.com will bounce you to the Gogo purchase page. also, it won’t work with subdomains, like mail.google.com (so no GMail), and no webcache.google.com (so you won’t be able to sneak by and view pages by using the cache: operator), no maps.google.com (i.e., no Google Maps). this doesn’t sound like much, but you can actually do quite a bit with just google.com.
i’m assuming Gogo has a reason to let this through, or else it would be closed off, since you can’t access http Google, nor can you access other sites via https (i tried Facebook and Foursquare). the key is to just go to //google.com and then search for something, then select the other types of searches (e.g., news, shopping, etc.) from the top bar to access more features. note that you can access Google Flights (the last screenshot) via //google.com/flights. if you’re on an iPhone, just cancel out of the login screen once it pops up and choose “Use without internet” — otherwise it will disconnect you from the wireless network. this worked on my laptop as well, and on my phone after i restarted it.
mostly-travel-handy things you can do
other handy things you can do (in case you’re not aware of the full power of Google) but i don’t have screenshots for, are weather (google “weather” + city) and flight information (google your flight number, like “AA 2350”) — pretty much anything searchable.