Gogo Is. The. Worst.
So this isn't so much a tip as it is a complaint really. Gogo -- the Wi-Fi on almost every US commercial carrier -- isn’t like the Internet on the ground. Unless you happened to be on the ground in 1995. It's painfully slow, you can’t stream anything (forget watching House of Cards), and it disconnects whenever it damn well pleases. Also, you get to pay about $5 an hour for the privilege of it all. But guess what? It’s pretty much the only game in town, so you're gonna have to take what you can get. Which means...
Get the monthly, all-airlines Gogo subscription
Gogo isn’t cheap and $29.95 might seem like a lot to pay for five hours of Internet from New York to LA. But if you take more than two flights a month, the monthly subscription ($49.95) is the cost-effective move. That said, subscriptions are ONLY good on the airline you purchased them on, so if you know you're flying Delta this week and United next, spring for the multi-airline pass ($59.95). Even then, you still need to be careful: Gogo bills automatically for the multi-airline pass every month until it's canceled. And the subscription doesn’t apply to Southwest. See, we told you Gogo was the WORST.
Prep your computer in the boarding area
Much like some family members, Gogo isn't to be depended on for much other than frustration. So use this time with the faster airport Wi-Fi to line up everything you might need in the air: download large files, open articles in separate browser tabs, and cut and paste important emails into a Word document so you won’t be stuck without them.
Oh yeah, and don’t ever assume you can charge anything onboard
Even airlines that advertise onboard plugs often reserve those for first/business class or main cabin premium seats. (Think Exit rows and bulkheads.) The rest of us should plan to crowd around the charging station (the rules of which we've outlined here) when we get to the airport. Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are the only airlines I’ve flown recently that consistently have outlets. But even then, it’s not a guarantee.