Man charged almost $1,200 for in-flight WiFi

You better be mindful of your megabytes on your next flight because they may cost you.

Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of popular trend website Trend Hunter, got hit with a $1,171 Internet bill on a flight from London to Singapore.  Last week, Gutsche purchased a 30 MB in-air Internet package for $28.99 from provider OnAir, and after he landed he was shocked to learn that he was charged an additional $1,142.47 in overage charges.

Contributing to the hefty bill was that Gutsche uploaded a 4 MB PowerPoint on his computer.  He also racked up155 page views, mostly to his email, he wrote in a post on Trend Hunter.

Gutsche also wrote that uploading the PowerPoint presentation probably cost him $100, and the e-mail he sent to his work team warning them that the upload was taking some time cost him another $10.

Singapore Airlines contacted OnAir on behalf of Gutsche, however OnAir told him he would have to pay the full amount.

The Internet provider told the Wall Street Journal that its service terms are transparent, and that it provides a graph that constantly shows passengers how much data they’ve consumed. It also gives users the option to choose a price limit before connecting, or disconnect at any time.

To use the amount of data that Gutsche consumed, OnAir said, “takes much more than basic email viewing, for example downloading heavy attachments, cloud access and using Skype.”

Gutsche told the Journal that he rejects the ‘buyer beware’ argument from OnAir.
“Just because someone agrees to terms and conditions doesn’t mean those terms are ethical,” he said. “I think the overage model is excessive.”