Passenger stuck with $1475 wi-fi bill

Peter Rae

Peter Rae

WIFI WORRIES: Thanks for flying with us! That’ll be $1475.


A passenger on a Singapore Airlines flight was surprised to find that the charges for using the in-flight wi-fi were just a tad higher than expected.

Jeremy Gutsche signed up for a 30MB Internet plan for US$28.99 (NZ$36.51) during a flight on November 12.

The plan’s terms included additional charges for data used beyond 30MB, and in this case the bill totalled US$1171 (NZ$1475) when Gutsche landed — a whopping US$1142 for extra data.

I had an otherwise enjoyable flight,” he wrote in a post on his website, “but the sticker shock of being gouged $1,200 made me feel like I was deplaning from Total Bastard Airlines, that old skit from SNL where they kick you off the plane with a ‘Buy BYE!'”

“If you were a family traveler or someone like my mother, that bill would certainly ruin your vacation,” Gutsche, CEO of Trend Hunter, said.


“I hope my team liked it,” he wrote.

The Wi-Fi provider, OnAir, told the Wall Street Journal that its purchase process is “entirely 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,” OnAir told WSJ.

“If we can land a probe on an asteroid, and if every other airline can manage to serve internet at a flat rate (or free), then it shouldn’t be so wildly complicated for Singapore Airlines that they need to bill some people $1200,” Gutsche said.


He added that the airline investigated the bill, but is sticking to the full amount.

The bill should be a reminder to all travellers to pay close attention to the pricing details of in-flight services.

“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 said.

“Just because someone agrees to terms and conditions does not actually mean that the pricing and terms are ethical,” Gutsche said.

This story originally appeared on Mashable. (Disclosure: The author of this article previously worked for Gutsche.)