AT&T Passport - Is it worth it?
September 10, 2016 — by Per Christensson
I just returned from my annual trip to Sweden. I've traveled to Denmark and Sweden so many times and know how readily available Wi-Fi is, that I decided to try an experiment. I skipped AT&T's Passport plan, meaning I had no access to cellular data.
AT&T Passport is a 30-day add-on that provides you with a small amount of cellular roaming data, cheaper calls, and unlimited messages. It conveniently starts at whatever date you choose and automatically expires in 30 days.
The plan used to be $30, but AT&T recently increased the price to $40. In the bucket of trip expenses, $40 is still just a drop, but I decided I would forego the plan this time and see how I fared just using only Wi-Fi.
Getting to Copenhagen was no problem. The Schipol airport in Amsterdam (AMS) now offers free Wi-Fi, so I was able to take care of a few last-minute things before my second flight. But on the train to the hotel, I needed to check my map and I couldn't. The Wi-Fi on the train wasn't working, so I had to wait until I got to the central station to look up the information. When I got to the central station, it didn't provide Wi-Fi (which is almost guaranteed in Sweden). So I had to walk around until I found a Baresso coffee shop. I already felt like this could be a tough situation for the rest of my trip.
And it was. There were at least 40 times during my two-week trip where I really wanted to look up something on my phone, but didn't because it would cost me a crazy amount to use international roaming data. Refreshing my Google Maps coverage was the most common reason, but there were also a few critical times I needed to iMessage some friends, but had to wait until I found a Wi-Fit hotspot. There were also a few times when I needed to view a train or ferry ticket from my email account, but couldn't because I didn't have an Internet connection.
That being said, I managed to make it the entire two weeks without using AT&T's Passport plan. I still made all my travel connections and got in touch with my friends when needed (albeit a bit delayed at times). So I proved that it is possible to travel to Scandinavia without cellular data. But my experience also proved that $40 is a small price to pay for the convenience AT&T's Passport plan offers.
Is AT&T Passport worth it? YES.