Hamburg (dpa) – Set a firm limit on the amount of information your device can download before you decide to start surfing the web in a plane, otherwise you might find yourself facing some hefty fees.
Eyes popped earlier at recent reports about a Canadian businessman on his way to Singapore who ended up with a nearly US$1,200 bill because the amount of information down-loaded was much higher than the amount included for free in the airline’s US$25 access fee.
But a little caution can make sure the same fate doesn’t befall others.
Rules for smartphone use on a plane are very similar to those one should observe when travelling outside of one’s smartphone plan area so as to avoid unexpected fees: Turn off automatic updates and don’t let apps have access to mobile phone service.
But, since the telephone can also access the internet with WiFi, even more caution is needed on a plane, says Thomas Bradler of the Consumer’s Centre of the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia.
“The standard settings aren’t enough here,” he said. “To avoid higher costs, you should deactivate automatic updates, as well as e-mail updates.”
Bradler recommends reading the fine print of any contract, since these normally contain details about costs related to activity.
“If the contract does not clearly explain the costs incurred, you should take the bill to the airline and demand at least a partial repayment,” he said.
Some airlines have begun offering package deals. Lufthansa, for example, has 24-hour passes, while Emirates doesn’t charge for the first 10 megabytes. Still others provide free service to frequent flyers.