An air passenger from Toronto received a nasty shock soon after he disembarked from a Singapore Airlines flight, when he was presented with a whopping bill for just under $1200 for using Wi-Fi during his journey.
Jeremy Gutsche from Toronto told CBS News, “I think the sum is shocking, and if you were a family traveller or someone like my mother, that bill would certainly ruin your vacation.”
Gutsche, the head of the consultancy website Trendhunter.com, was on a flight from London to Singapore last week and says he signed up for a 30 MB internet data plan offered by the airline for $28.99.
But Gutsche wrote in a tweet, “I had an otherwise enjoyable flight, but the sticker shock of being gouged $1,200 made me feel like I was deplaning from Total B*****d Airlines, that old skit from SNL where they kick you off the plane with a “Buy BYE!”
While Gutsche knew he may well exceed the 30 MB limit, he didn’t for a moment realize that $28.99 would turn into $1200! “I was aware of the pricing, and even though I limited my surfing, my overage wasn’t $50 or $100, it was an excessive $1,200,” Gutsche said.
According to Gutsche, he wasn’t surfing you YouTube or downloading files, but simply racked up the huge bill with roughly 155 page views, in which he was reading his numerous emails,
“I get that the pricing model is listed in the terms and I was aware of it, but even so my work ended up well over the limit. That had me thinking that just because someone agrees to terms and conditions does not actually mean that the pricing and terms are ethical.”
He also compared the Singapore Airlines payment structure for Wi-Fi to that of other airlines, “Compare that with $14 for 24 hours on American Airlines, United, Air Canada, Delta, US Airways and Virgin. And on Jet Blue, Wi-Fi is free. And if I could burn $1,200 on 155 pages (and likely an update or two running in the background), an aggressive surfer or game player could far surpass that.”
The Wall Street Journal quotes OnAir, which provides Singapore Airlines with the Wi-Fi, saying, “the purchase for its services is transparent. To consume several hundred megabytes during one flight takes much more than basic email viewing, for example downloading heavy attachments, cloud access and using Skype.”