In-flight calls, data may cost more than plane ticket itself!
Everybody is hailing the Telecom Commission’s decision to allow mobile calls and internet services in domestic and international flights in India, but here’s a spoiler - fliers will have to loosen their purse strings for these services. In fact, in some cases, the use of in-flight Wi-Fi services may cost more than your flight ticket.
Although in-flight Wi-Fi services are yet to start in India, countries that have provided these facilities charge approximately $4.5 (Rs 350) for using 10 mb internet data. Domestic airlines expect that the use of internet services over Indian territory would cost a passenger between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on a 60- minute flight.
Talking to Zee Business, Trai chairman RS Sharma said that the TRAI will not interfere to regulate the cost of in-flight internet services. “Users have to pay for using Wi-Fi. The tariffs will be decided by the service provider. TRAI will not interfere with it,” he said.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said that providing passenger amenities has been the endeavour of the Narendra Modi government. “We are constantly upgrading our services. This (decision) will go a long way in making sure people will use flying time more productively and efficiently,” Prabhu said from South Africa.
Watch this Zee Business video here:
Some airlines like American Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Asia, Air France, British Airways and Emirates provide in-flight Wi-Fi services but they charge handsomely. Ajay Singh, CMD Spicejet told Zee Business that his airline would be the first to offer in-flight Wi-Fi services.
An official from a leading airline said that the high cost was due to the unique technology required to provide Wi-Fi services, which includes setting up of antennas that increase drag and add to fuel costs. Those fees - plus engineering and maintenance costs - will be passed on to the passengers. American Airlines, currently charges around £12.75 ($19) for Wi-Fi on international routes.
By Sameer Dixit, DNA India
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