WiFi Prices keep going up

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Old Nov 8, 18, 7:38 am
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WiFi Prices keep going up

When United started rolling out Wifi the prices were reasonable even though, by comparison, airlines such as Qantas offer it free domestically: diseconomies of scale I guess so I won't begrudge them. However, over the last year reasonable has morphed into almost gouging status. On my last trip back to Australia in July I think it was $17.99 for the entire journey (14-15 hours) for which, given there are some blackout spots, I was okay paying. However, on my last two trips to Europe (IAD-MUC, IAD-LHR) in the last 3 weeks prices have been $22.99, $29.99, and $31.99. My workplace is footing the bill as I am able to work while in the air (except when ranting on flyer fora such as this) so it doesn't affect my pocket but I am starting to find it hard to justify. For that type of money I would expect: an uninterrupted service (10 minutes into this flight we lost connectivity which when doing remote shell work is a PITA) and streaming capabilities. I'm not sure the technology and the satellite coverage could support this anyway. The service being provided is no different than what I was getting when I went to LHR last year but only paid $12 or so. Evidently the market is able to support the current levels but it still feels like gouging.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by iadsyd View Post
When United started rolling out Wifi the prices were reasonable even though, by comparison, airlines such as Qantas offer it free domestically: diseconomies of scale I guess so I won't begrudge them. However, over the last year reasonable has morphed into almost gouging status. On my last trip back to Australia in July I think it was $17.99 for the entire journey (14-15 hours) for which, given there are some blackout spots, I was okay paying. However, on my last two trips to Europe (IAD-MUC, IAD-LHR) in the last 3 weeks prices have been $22.99, $29.99, and $31.99. My workplace is footing the bill as I am able to work while in the air (except when ranting on flyer fora such as this) so it doesn't affect my pocket but I am starting to find it hard to justify. For that type of money I would expect: an uninterrupted service (10 minutes into this flight we lost connectivity which when doing remote shell work is a PITA) and streaming capabilities. I'm not sure the technology and the satellite coverage could support this anyway. The service being provided is no different than what I was getting when I went to LHR last year but only paid $12 or so. Evidently the market is able to support the current levels but it still feels like gouging.
IMO for the frequent international traveler, the $69 monthly global subscription is the best option. As you pointed out, one round trip journey can easily cost more.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 9:35 am
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I would expect UA to keep raising the price until people stop buying. In other words, market sets the price.

I don't begrudge them the right to charge what the market will bear, but when the price creeps much over $20, I do expect functional service for a good percentage of the flight, and will request a refund if they don't provide that.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 9:39 am
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Good on United for figuring out that they can charge more and more.

Few people are buying this out of pocket anyway, but they've figured out that OPM is not price-sensitive, so they can keep jacking it up, as that is seems to be the target market.

Otherwise, there are plenty of airlines with cheaper (or free) wifi.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 9:39 am
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As OP points out in his own case, his employer is willing to pay for the service. So long as the market remains there, up it goes.

I have no idea what the exact deal is by UA with its vendors, but the vendors' investors sooner or later expect this service to become profitable for them. Otherwise it goes the way of the inflight sat call services.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post
IMO for the frequent international traveler, the $69 monthly global subscription is the best option. As you pointed out, one round trip journey can easily cost more.
How does one purchase this? Never seen it offered online, onboard, or on the app...
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Old Nov 8, 18, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by shdflyer View Post
How does one purchase this? Never seen it offered online, onboard, or on the app...
Log into your account, go to subscriptions. Wifi subscription.

or use: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/subscription/wifi

Choose the Global or domestic plan as needed. Wifi didn't work on 3 of my last 4 trips... but still totally worth it vs buying ala carte
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Old Nov 8, 18, 10:36 am
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It's still $8 for a 24-hour pass on WN!
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Old Nov 8, 18, 10:37 am
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I like that my Tmobile plan comes with unlimited gogo WiFi on domestic flights (on my phone, not my other devises). It saves me a lot.

UA, however, is the one airline that doesnít participate in he promo.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
It's still $8 for a 24-hour pass on WN!
Yeah but you have to fly WN
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Old Nov 8, 18, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by iadsyd View Post
When United started rolling out Wifi the prices were reasonable even though, by comparison, airlines such as Qantas offer it free domestically: diseconomies of scale I guess so I won't begrudge them. However, over the last year reasonable has morphed into almost gouging status. On my last trip back to Australia in July I think it was $17.99 for the entire journey (14-15 hours) for which, given there are some blackout spots, I was okay paying. However, on my last two trips to Europe (IAD-MUC, IAD-LHR) in the last 3 weeks prices have been $22.99, $29.99, and $31.99. My workplace is footing the bill as I am able to work while in the air (except when ranting on flyer fora such as this) so it doesn't affect my pocket but I am starting to find it hard to justify. For that type of money I would expect: an uninterrupted service (10 minutes into this flight we lost connectivity which when doing remote shell work is a PITA) and streaming capabilities. I'm not sure the technology and the satellite coverage could support this anyway. The service being provided is no different than what I was getting when I went to LHR last year but only paid $12 or so. Evidently the market is able to support the current levels but it still feels like gouging.
Even at the high end for, say, an 8 hour flight, thatís $4/hour, which is less than GoGo typically charges on the flights Iíve been on. And the couple of times Iíve actually used it, itís super slow. Probably also not much more than the hourly fees charged by buying WiFi on the ground (I.e, Boingo, etc.)

Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Good on United for figuring out that they can charge more and more.

Few people are buying this out of pocket anyway, but they've figured out that OPM is not price-sensitive, so they can keep jacking it up, as that is seems to be the target market.

Otherwise, there are plenty of airlines with cheaper (or free) wifi.
yup. My travel is all personal, and I just donít buy it. Donít really need it.

Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
It's still $8 for a 24-hour pass on WN!
and that is valid on all their TATL/TPAC flights, right?

Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
I like that my Tmobile plan comes with unlimited gogo WiFi on domestic flights (on my phone, not my other devises). It saves me a lot.

UA, however, is the one airline that doesnít participate in he promo.
Yup. Was really annoyed when I figured this out. IIRC, though, itís not unlimited - limited to 1 hour per flight. Texting is unlimited, though.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
It's still $8 for a 24-hour pass on WN!
How much is it for their TPAC or TATL service?
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Old Nov 8, 18, 11:33 am
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I wish UA would offer different levels of service. I'm not entirely interested in paying $45 for the full flight when all I want to do is send some messages via my phone. I'd gladly pay $5-10 for that level of service, and use a heck of a lot less bandwidth than other users.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 11:34 am
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I'm not one of those "online all the time" folk, so even when I'm on a business trip I'm happy to buy the hour toward the end of the flight, which allows me to catch up on work before landing.

Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
It's still $8 for a 24-hour pass on WN!
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Yeah but you have to fly WN
It would take a lot more than $8 WiFi to get me on WN.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 8, 18 at 2:42 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Nov 8, 18, 11:49 am
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Wow, didn't mean to spark an anti-WN pile-on, obviously they differ from UA in many ways and plenty has been said about that on other threads.

I was comparing wifi products (on topic for this thread), and their wifi product is as good as United's and they offer it for 1/3 the price, which contributes to OP's theory that United's pricing is high.

I basically split my flying between UA and WN and I've bought wifi on WN many times and on United zero times, and that has to do 100% with pricing.

Obviously they don't fly TPAC/TATL but they have plenty of fairly long transcon and Central America flights, and if you add in connections $8 for 8+ hours of wifi is a good deal.
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