May 16 2006

Sticking it to United, Just a Little Bit

Sticking it to United, Just a Little Bit

I am sitting in the Red Carpet Club waiting for yet another delayed United flight, and there’s a small thing bringing me a little extra joy. I recently started using Verizon’s Broadband Wireless service, which is expensive at $60/month, but awesome since it basically works anywhere and eliminates the need for hotel, Starbucks, and other Wi Fi hot spot fees (and for a great tutorial on how to use the service to power two computers at once, read Brad’s post here).

I’ve long been annoyed at United — and American as well — for both charging a pretty sizeable annual fee to belong to their airport clubs and then soaking me for another $10 every time I’m in one just to use their T-Mobile hot spot.  Many people, including Fred here, believe that Wi Fi should be free everywhere.  While I think that’s a great idea, I don’t think it’s a god-given right.  And I don’t mind that Starbucks charges me to use their hot spots, since I may only be spending a couple dollars with them.  However, airline clubs that charge a lot of money for membership should definitely include WI Fi as part of the deal.

So my great joy today was *not* giving yet another $10 to United for the privilege of using the Internet. Thank you, Verizon (not that I don’t also have various complaints about Verizon, but that’s for another day).

It truly is the little things…