On a recent trip, I flew back to Australia on the A380 with Emirates and it is a pretty cool plane, having had a few trips on them, but that isn’t the point for today…
One of the offerings aboard the plane was Wi-Fi connectivity on board. Awesome I thought, and started investigating the on board mags and entertainment system for more information. It wasn’t free (not that I really expected it to be if I was being completely honest), but it was priced at two options. $US2.75 for 5MB data or $US15 for 30MB with each addition 100kb costing $US0.07. It didn’t sound overly expensive, but at the same time I could see that data going quite quickly.
Of course I set up and charged up an account and got into sending a text to the kids using the Text Me app, send a couple of Tweets, posted a pick on Facebook of the on-board map showing us at 565 mph, 34,999 ft. altitude and 7202 miles from Melbourne. Awesome I thought…a new toy, so off I went posting, tweeting, messaging etc. for the next few mins. Then I got a Face time call from my daughter at home in Canberra and we chatted on video. I showed her the plane, the people etc. Quality was a bit scratchy but we had a discussion.
Following the call I checked my balance and nearly all of the 5MB was gone after my initial play, so any serious video drains the allowance quite quickly. I kept logging on and off throughout the flight, send a few more posts and tweets etc. until we landed in Melbourne. All this for about $US6, which was pretty good value.
This reminded me of a recent announcement I saw from Qantas that they were cancelling their on-board Wi-Fi rollout following the trial. I think the price was $30 per flight, but unsure of caps, allowances or anything else. Would I pay $30 for having the access for a long haul flight? Probably yes, especially if you needed connectivity for important reasons, but really $30 on top of $2000+ ticket fare is a small amount to use technology to have some fun in the air at the expense of those stuck at home!
My vote is for COOL….what’s yours?
Tony, valid points, but unfortunately I think the economics is a bit skewed and the airlines are subsidising their other costs or getting real profits from this “fun in the sky”. Lets face it, a local NSW bus company provides free wi-fi on it’s intercity link. Great except hardly anyone uses the busses in Canberra.
I digress. Yes I think it’s a great having access to the web whilst you are stuck in a speeding tin (cross that out) aluminium and carbon fibre composite can for 8 hours or so. And if you are traveling for business purposes it may be even more beneficial. However, I think the cost should be absorbed by the airline just like the bus company does with $5 fare as it is negligible in the bigger scheme of things.
Good point Don and true with the bus service.
Overall we are well behind with general access and availability of wifi here in Australia. It is either poor quality, not readily available or when it is, the prices are ridiculous for the cost to provide.
I’m in a hotel in Melbourne now and they want to charge $9.95 per hour for in room access whereas a local cafe I frequent a lot here has it for free, and I know who charges more per person (and yes there is a whole other argument on establishment cost and returns of hotel vs cafe).
I like the concept of in sky wifi, and agree that surely if the cost of a seat where you are paying over $3000 to fly, a 10,20 or $30 cost could be absorbed somehow! But I still stick with my willingness and the affordability of my little ‘toy’ to amuse me for a while!
Tony Ozanne Small Fish Business Coaching
Mobile: 0447 610 279 http://www.smallfish.com.au/tonyozanne
Sent from my Small Fish iPhone
On 28/12/2012, at 20:46, Business Coaching Canberra