United Making The Airfone Mistake All Over Again
from the noooooo,-don't-do-it... dept
As excited as I am by the idea of internet access in the air, the one big question I've been afraid to find out the answer on is just how extortionary the prices were going to be. Now, we know the answer. United is getting ready to launch an in-flight email service on all domestic flights. They don't seem to have learned a damn thing from the amazing failure of the "airfone". The problem there was that except in the most dire of circumstances, most people aren't willing to spend $3/minute to make a phone call when they can just wait until they're on the ground and can use their mobile phone. So, what is United doing? They're charging even more ridiculously high fees for email in the air. It's $16 just to get connected. Every kilobyte over the first 2 (wow, how generous) costs an additional 10 cents. Do the math here. In the last hour alone (and hardly at peak times) I've received over 150k of email. That would add an extra $15 to my bill (not including any of the five emails I just sent out - another 30k or so). Just imagine the fees when a colleague sends you a 4 meg PowerPoint presentation for you to review on your flight. Also, think of just how much each of those spams is now costing you directly. Sure, maybe they'll find a few suckers with really open expense accounts, but the vast majority of people are going to say no thanks, and continue to sneak their emails in using their Blackberries or Danger devices.