Sky is Not the Limit for Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines photo by Rolf Wallner
Singapore Airlines photo by Rolf Wallner

Imagine paying $28.99 for in-flight internet service and getting a bill for $1,200 at the flight’s end. That is exactly what happened to one hapless Toronto traveler last week on a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore.

Jeremy Gutsche is the head of consultancy website Trendhunter.com. He thought he would check his emails while flying to Singapore, and decided to sign up for the more expensive data plan offering him 30mb for almost $30. He said he knew he surpassed the data limit, but was still shocked by the $1,200 bill.

“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 said to CBS News in an email.
Gutsche says he was not video chatting or streaming movies. His bill was accrued with 155 page views, something he says is just plain wrong.

“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. 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.”

Gutsche compared Singapore Air’s internet pricing scheme 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.” Gutsche said. “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.”

Jaguar Land Rover Considering Plant in US

Jaguar Land Rover by Land Rover MENA
Jaguar Land Rover by Land Rover MENA

Tata Motors, India’s largest car manufacturer, is looking into building an additional facility in the United States.  High demand for the luxury Jaguar Land Rover is compelling Tata to free-up their production lines to allow for faster production speeds. The company is quickly reaching its maximum production capacity at their UK factories due to the high demand not only for the JLR, but for all the company’s products.

In the next three months a new factory in China will be commissioned to produce more cars. Demand is expected to rise further as new models and high volume compact cars are produced to meet demand.

The Chief Financial Officer of Jaguar Land Rover Kenneth Gregor said:

“The US is a market for premium cars and a very important market. We are exploring our options to expand manufacturing reach globally and yes US could be one of the markets. We would look at it but that is not to say that we have anything concrete to announce.”

First Large Business Delegation Visiting Egypt Since 2011

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi

In a concerted effort to show the world and its potential investors that Egypt is a stable country in a volatile region, a large delegation of business owners and officials will spend three days visiting.

The largest delegation of its kind since the Egyptian “Arab Spring” revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, among the visitors will be 66 representatives of large US companies. The delegation will meet with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and other Egyptian ministers and businessmen.

US-Egyptian relations have been strained since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in the summer of 2013. The US froze military aid to Egypt in response to Morsi’s removal from office.

Egypt is planning a large economic summit in February 2015 in order to attract a flow of international investments into the country- an important goal after three years of political and economic instability and chaos.

Included among the delegation are representatives of a wide range of sectors, including energy, telecom, banking, logistics, food, drugs and more.

Obamacare Achieving its Goal of Insuring More Americans

According to data supplied by the Gallup Well Being Index, the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, has made significant changes to the numbers of people now with basic health insurance benefits.

In 2006 the number of American without any type of health insurance reached an all-time high of close to 44 million people. That accounted for about 17% of Americans. The trend continued through 2010, with many states having even lower percentages of their populations covered.

Today, with the implementation of Obamacare there are more Americans with some kind of health insurance than ever before. Since ACA was launched 10 million more people joined the ranks of the health-insured and no longer have to fear paying full price for medical care.

 

Thinking Out of the Box: Making a Business Out of Art

festival_del_soleTwo concepts of “slow” have been around quite a while now: slow food (in Italy and France) and slow fashion. Barrett Wissman, of Los Angeles, California, is now bringing us a third: slow entertainment. Wissman believes that with this, a “broader cultural understanding between people [will develop which will] contribute to the appreciation of what makes us human beings again.”

A columnist for Forbes, businessman and art appreciator, Wissman has over the years, made art into a business while providing greater access for all. Through his backing of IMG artists and creation of the Abu Dhabi Festival, Festival Del Sole, the Placido Dominigo Festival and Tribeca Firenze, Wissman has begun providing a truly rich, cultural experience for the increasing number of participants his festivals attract.

And it is a business as well. Wissman has had to very carefully find just the right artists from a whole array of different disciplines who will make the most of their talents during these festivals. But it’s not just as simple as that. He takes it a step further. Wissman gets these artists to step out of their comfort zone and show their talents in those disciplines in which they are not usually performing. One classic example of how he did this was when Robert Redford recited poetry accompanied by an orchestra; a clear example of thinking outside of the box.

When describing Wissman and his plans, Eluxe Magazine said, “Beethoven once said that “music is the mediator between spiritual and sensual life,” and Wissman seems to have embraced this notion fully. These events aren’t intended to lightly entertain; they’re not meant to be half-ignored whilst patrons film them on iPhones then Tweet and Instagram their demi-experiences around the world. No, with their magical mixtures of music, poetry, art, culinary experiences, wine tasting, vineyard explorations, lectures on music, yoga and Chinese medicine, these festivals are a full-on, sensual—and  even spiritual—experience. ”

As is common when thinking outside of the box, likewise with what Wissman has found – something quite magical occurs. As Wissman himself explains: “these events create electricity; they exist in an instant that will never happen again.”