by Mike Masnick

Virgin's Free Train WiFi - Neither Free, Nor On Trains

from the let's-try-that-again... dept

Not sure if this is just sloppy reporting or misleading PR. Last year, Virgin Railways in the UK announced that they were putting WiFi on their trains - which they weren't. They were simply putting WiFi in some stations. Now, they've done it again. This headline trumpets: "Virgin Trains offers free Wi-Fi". However, when you read the details, you see that's not true. Once again, they're just offering WiFi in the stations - and only in the "first class lounges" at five stations. I'm not quite sure how it works, but I imagine that you have to pay a bit more than nothing to get access to the "first class lounge." Even then, the "free" part is only a limited time promotion, after which they're looking to charge £100 (~$180) for a six-month subscription. So, now you have to be traveling first class, using a specific station where you'll get to use WiFi for the few minutes while you're waiting for the train and you'll pay about as much as you'd pay for a cheap home broadband connection. It seems like the initial headline isn't the most accurate description of what's actually happening.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Ryan, Mar 17th, 2004 @ 10:14am

    Trains and delays

    Yeah... as far as trains and waits... it could be more than a couple of minutes ;) Here in the UK train delays are almost a daily event.
    I doubt anyone would be remotely interested in that type of WiFi access, you could just buy a card to surf the net through your cell phone connection for about the same price anywhere (which has pretty good coverage even in transit).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2004 @ 1:27pm

    No Subject Given

    Isn't the headline correct? "Virgin Trains offers free Wi-Fi". It doesn't say it offers access on trains, it just says that the company, known commonly as Virgin Trains, will offer something. Perhaps it would've been less confusing if they said "Virgin Railways offers free Wi-Fi" but that's a longer headline. They're interchangeable though, aren't they?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    acb, Mar 18th, 2004 @ 6:01am

    No Subject Given

    Weren't GNER meant to be offering free WiFi aboard trains on their London-Edinburgh route? What happened to that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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