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.”