Things I Find Interesting On Sunday, April 6th 2014:
Gogo Internet Is Now Available On Flights In Canada. I’ve had a Gogo subscription since shortly after the service debuted. I’ve gotten a ton of value out of Wifi on planes through increased productivity, and the monthly pass saves a bunch over buying a pass for each flight. The Heels First Travel gals note that there’s a likely price increase coming down the pike on April 13th, so lock in your monthly pricing plan now.
It looks like the EU is doing away with roaming charges for cell phone calls and data usage. Prices have come down quite a bit in the last few years. It used to be that everywhere I traveled I could expect to pay $3 or $4 a minute for voice calls and exorbitant prices for data. Verizon Wireless had, for a brief time, an international travel data package that was $60 a month for unlimited international data. That broke them pretty quickly, especially since you could turn it on just for a few days while overseas. Now, the going rate for me in most countries is a more reasonable $25 for 100MB. And, it’s more like a dollar or two per minute for voice calls. As Seth points out, this likely makes things a lot easier for folks who used to get local SIM cards to put in their phone while traveling.
United Airlines gives back the free checked bag benefit to Star Alliance Silver members. This seemed like scraping copper off the penny on United’s behalf when they enacted this change last year. Sure, they make a few bucks on a checked bag here and there. But, it just struck me as being very cheap with your fellow alliance members. United has rescinded this change and I can’t imagine it hurts them much financially. It may even be a net positive if it encourages folks with Star Alliance status to book with United.