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Stop Gouging Internet Users': Guy Shares Hard Lesson About Why You Should Be Careful Using In-Flight Wi-Fi


"That email probably cost me $10."

Frequent business travelers might enjoy the work they can accomplish at 30,000 feet (when the Wi-Fi works properly), especially on long flights. But one man as a word of warning for those who want to check their email and tie up other loose business odds and ends: Watch the cost.

Jeremy Gutsche, the CEO of Trend Hunter, which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, wrote on the trend-spotting website earlier this week that after using Singapore Airlines' Wi-Fi, he walked off the plane with a nearly $1,200 bill.

To put that into perspective, a flight from New York City to Singapore on Singapore Airlines leaving Monday and returning the following week costs just over $1,000.

"You know that epic feeling when your flight ends and you finally get to your destination? Now imagine taking those first steps off the plane, syncing your phone, and getting a $1200 bill for airplane internet use. That's what happened to me on Singapore Airlines today," Gutsche wrote Wednesday.

Gutsche went on to breakdown what activities resulted in such a charge:

So what does it take to rack up $1200 of internet use? In my case, just 155 page views, mostly to my email. I know this because for the first time I counted up my page views to see where all the dollars went. 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.

At one point, I spent about an hour uploading one 4mb powerpoint doc. That doc probably cost me $100 to upload, so I hope my team liked it. I actually even emailed them a warning that my upload was taking a while. That email probably cost me $10. And yes, the pricing per mb was disclosed on sign-up, but I bought the $30 package, slept through most the flight, and really didn't think I'd end up a thousand bucks past the limit.

Gutsche doesn't say if he'll be fighting the bill in any way, but more simply noted, first, his gratitude to the hotel that has free Internet and then asked people to tweet at the airline if "you want them to stop gouging internet users."

GigaOM, not defending highly priced in-flight Wi-Fi, did however note that "offering Internet at 30,000 feet is no easy task," and it pointed to another story about why it's so expensive — and slow — to connect from a plane.

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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