Southwest Airlines gives you free Dish television on your own device. Internet is only $8 all day so if you have to make a connection you don’t have to pay again.
Lufthansa which had the best Wi-Fi for my experience (though I did get scolded by the flight attendant for using Skype) charges the following:
- HotSpot Pass Sky 1h: €9 or 3,000 miles
- HotSpot Pass Sky 4h: €14 or 4,500 miles
- HotSpot Pass Sky 24h: €17 or 5.500 miles
As a matter of principle, I refuse to use Boingo, electing to surf the world of my own thoughts since Boingo has commandeered free Wi-Fi at many airports.
Then there’s Singapore Airlines which charges US$9.99 for 10 MB.
When I flew Singapore Airlines A380 from NRT-LAX (Tokyo-Los Angeles), I was so thrilled with the experience I rationalized paying for this overpriced Wi-Fi. I signed up and logged in. Within minutes due to Facebook notifications, emails, and opening web pages, I had reached my quota. Nevertheless, I had to finish this post: It’s Thanksgiving…Without the Annoying Relatives feeling that I owed it to everyone to show how great Singapore Airlines Suite Class is.
When I heard that a passenger was charged $1200 for Wi-Fi on a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore, I definitely wasn’t shocked. The passenger said he wasn’t streaming content, only opened a few pages, but admitted that he fell asleep while keeping the Wi-Fi active.
Besides providing the T&C’s that none of us read, Singapore Airlines also has an option to cut off your service when the purchased threshold has been reached. Why this passenger didn’t think to check that box is beyond me.
The real question will be how Singapore Airlines responds to this PR situation. This story reminds me of a guy I met last year in South Africa who received a notification from his US cellular carrier that his roaming bill was $1000. Puzzled, he explained that he had purchased an international data plan. The carrier acknowledged this purchase but directed the man to check the Country Count List where he would find that Lesotho, though landlocked, is its own country. His ignorance of this fact was not rewarded.
Will this passenger’s fate be the same? Should it be?