Whats Out For In-flight WiFi Data Charges: Case Singapore Airlines


Singapore Airlines was one of the airlines where I was using the in-flight WiFi sometime around the mid-2000’s. At the time, the service that the Lufthansa also used was provided by Connexxion by Boeing. The service was soon scrapped, however.

Singapore Airlines OnAir Internet Charge

But that was long time ago. The in-flight WiFi is slowly making a comeback, but people should have an idea about the amount of data they are consuming or they may end up with a very high bill.

There was an article on the Daily Mail (access here) about a Canadian traveler that ended up with an OnAir bill of $1,142. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

The CEO of Trend Hunter wrote on his blog: ‘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 $1,200 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.’

Mr Gutsche spent an hour uploading a four-megabyte PowerPoint document.

He said: ‘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 (megabyte) 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.’


Well. This Canadian traveler that turned out to be a CEO must have downloaded/uploaded more than couple of hundred web pages and a file or two. He must have downloaded knowingly or not couple of HUGE data files or maybe a movie or two.

It is always a good idea to disable all the background applications that you may have running if on metered data access.