Here’s a tip for anyone who likes to use Wi-Fi in the air but isn’t thrilled with the often hefty price tags.
The airlines all charge lower rates for mobile access than computer access, and they determine this by the user agent that your computer passes when it connects to the payment website. American Airlines gets up to $16-20 for a day-pass and does not always offer flight-specific options when connecting from your laptop. However, when connecting from mobile, you’ll see far better options: 30 minutes free when you watch an ad, completely free access if you’re a customer of a certain insurance company, or reduced prices of $9-12 for the duration of your flight.
Search Google for a user agent switcher for your particular browser, set it to something simple like iPhone, then connect to the inflight Wi-Fi access point. Just be sure to change the user agent back to your actual browser once you’re connected or it will keep serving you narrow pages optimized for mobile viewing.