Saturday, 15 November 2014

SIA passenger charged S$1,520 for in-flight Wi-Fi

A Singapore Airlines (SIA) passenger was charged about S$1,520 for using the Internet during his flight from London to Singapore on Nov 12

Mr Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of online magazine Trendhunter.com, posted his bill on Twitter the next day, complaining about being “gouged” by the airline. He had subscribed for the 30mb Internet OnAir package at US$28.99 (S$37.63), but was charged an additional US$1142.47 (S$1,483.06) for overuse.

He also wrote an article on his website about the incident. Mr Gutsche claimed to have made only 155 page views, made some emails, and uploaded a 4mb powerpoint document during his entire flight.

He wrote: “I had an otherwise enjoyable flight, but the sticker shock of being gouged US$1,200 made me feel like I was deplaning from Total Bastard Airlines, that old skit from SNL where they kick you off the plane with a ‘Buy BYE!’

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This $1,200 bill for Singapore Airline’s onboard wifi is a reminder that you should just sleep on the plane

It used to be that taking an airplane meant reading a book, watching whatever movies were playing on the single screen upfront, or sleeping like you’ve never slept before. Now, thanks to technology you can do a whole lot more, such as catching up on your latest TV show addiction on the inflight entertainment system, playing games on your mobile phone – or using the onboard internet.

It seems like the latter option is still not very advisable, though. Case in point: Jeremy Gutsche, CEO at Trend Hunter, revealed in a tweet and subsequent blog post that he had to fork out an incredible US$1,171.46 on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight when he used their onboard wifi.

At that amount, you would think that he was doing some serious video-watching on Netflix, but that wasn’t the case. According to Gutsche, all he did was send some emails and upload a single 4MB powerpoint document. Unbeknownst to him at that point of time, the 4MB upload would take up 13 percent of the 30MB data that was given to him with the US$28.99 sign-on fee.

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Man Billed $1,200 For Reading Email On A Plane
Want to use an international flight to Singapore to catch up on your email? Better think twice

The WiFi overage charges on Singapore Airlines might cost you as much or more than the flight itself.

So discovered Jeremy Gutsche, founder of online trend site, TrendHunter.com who was charged a jaw-dropping $US1,171.46 for using 30MB of data on flight to Singapore, he says.

He thought he was signing up for a $US30 WiFi package.

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Man gets $1,171 bill for using in-flight Wi-Fi

When it comes to offering Wi-Fi in the sky, airlines enjoy a situational monopoly. Still, this takes the cake: a Singapore Airlines passenger stepped off a plane, looked at his phone and discovered this bill for $1,171.46

As the passenger, Jeremy Gutsche, explains on TrendHunter, the eye-popping total came about as result of ordinary internet use — sending emails, uploading documents and such things. But since the airline’s $28.99 sign-on fee only included a paltry 30 MB of data, the overage charges hit hard.

“I wish I could blame an addiction to Netflix or some intellectual documentary that made me $1200 smarter. However, the Singapore Airlines internet was painfully slow, so videos would be impossible and that means I didn’t get any smarter… except about how to charge a lot of money for stuff. I did learn that,” noted Gutsche.

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Man Says He Was Gouged After Receiving $1,171 In-Flight WiFi Bill

There are a number of reasons why you might choose to purchase in-flight WiFi: to finish a work project or just to pass the time on your five-hour flight. Depending on how long you’re flying high and the nature of your work, the bill for your internet use can add up quickly; just ask a passenger who connected on a Singapore Airlines flight.

Gigaom reports the passenger stepped off the plane to find a not-so-welcome bill on his phone for $1,171.46.

The man says that his internet use during the flight consisted of sending emails, uploading documents and other ordinary tasks. Unfortunately for him, the airline’s $28.99 sign-on fee only included 30 MB of data, which meant he was hit with expensive overage charges.

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Wi-Fi on international flights
How much does Wi-Fi cost on airline carriers from around the world?

The prevalance of smartphones, mobile hotspots and airport wifi means you can access the internet pretty much anywhere - that is, until you board a plane.

Some airlines now offer in-flight Wi-Fi. But how much does it cost to stay connected at 40,000 feet in the air?


A Singapore Airlines (SIA) passenger said he racked up a Wi-Fi bill amounting to about S$1,520 during his flight from London to Singapore earlier this week, where he claimed to have only made 155 page views, sent some emails and uploaded a 4MB Powerpoint document during the entire flight.

Here are some airlines that offer in-flight Wi-Fi and their charges.

related: SIA passenger charged S$1,520 for in-flight Wi-Fi

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Full Coverage:
Global News: Singapore Airlines Charges Man $1200 For Using Wi-Fi During Flight
The Independent: Man hit with $1200 internet bill for 'viewing emails' on SIA flight
ValueWalk: Man Charged $1171 For Using Singapore Airlines Onboard WiFi
MSN News: Man gets $1171 bill for using in-flight Wi-Fi
Telegraph.co.uk: Singapore Airlines passenger gets £749 Wi-Fi bill
Consumerist: Man Says He Was Gouged After Receiving $1171 In-Flight WiFi Bill
Yahoo Tech: Man Stunned by $1200 Wi-Fi Bill on Flight from London to Singapore
Daily Mail: Singapore Airlines passenger stung with $1200 wifi bill on flight
9news.com.au: Passenger charged $1300 for Singapore Airlines Wi-Fi
FOX 10 News: Man gets $1200 bill for in-flight Wi-Fi
NEWS.com.au: Passenger racks up $1200 Wi-Fi bill