Boingo Devalues Mastercard WiFi Benefit – Frames It As ‘Enhancement’
Boingo, a popular Wi-Fi provider for travelers at certain airports as well as aboard some airlines, announced today a new policy that is causing outrage among its Mastercard users.
For users who receive a complimentary Boingo subscription via the MasterCard product they hold, a major devaluation is coming on March 9. Boingo is introducing cap for these users on usage, from unlimited sessions to just 12 sessions per year. Also, each session will be limited to 90 minutes.
This is by all definition a devaluation, yet you would be surprised by how Boingo frames it in their email announcement! Let’s take a look at the full email sent by Boingo below, with the dubious claims of enhancement / improvement highlighted, and the downgrade of benefits underlined:
We are pleased to advise of some upcoming enhancements to your Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard® Cardholders benefit, so we are working with Mastercard to make it easier than ever.
On March 9, 2023, cardholders eligible for Inflight Wi-Fi will be able to connect 12 times per calendar year for 90 minutes per session. This change does not limit the amount of data or sessions that can be consumed during each flight.
Your benefit at land based wi-fi hotspots remain unchanged. No passes are required to use land wi-fi hotspots; you can continue to enjoy your membership even when your passes are depleted.
What do I have to do to take advantage of this improvement?
Absolutely nothing – we’ve got you covered.
Each time you use an Inflight session after March 9th, 2023, you will receive an email notification with how many sessions you’ve used and how many you have left.
If you have any questions, our friendly Customer Care agents are available 24/7 to help.
The Boingo Team
As you can see, this change has been framed by Boingo as an ‘enhancement’ to its services, however, many users such as myself would vehemently disagree. They see this as a major downgrade, and there is no way around that. After all, unlimited WiFi sessions was the main benefit of Boingo’s Mastercard partnership. This is especially true for frequent travelers who rely on Wi-Fi for their work and entertainment.
While many users are frustrated, there are no viable free alternatives to many MasterCard users. Its main in-flight competitor, Gogo, offers free connectivity with some credit card products, but they are all Visa Infinite cards.
So, is there actually any enhancement? Well, look closer and you will see that Boingo will now email you to let you know how many sessions you consumed, as well as numbers of sessions remaining. Sure this is new, but is it an enhancement or improvement? Absolutely not! Without a usage cap, such email would be unnecessary.
As of March 9, Mastercard users who receive a complimentary Boingo subscription will no longer have unlimited sessions. Instead, their usage will be capped to 12 sessions per year, with each sessions having a 90 minute minute.
Boingo’s announcement of a usage cap for Mastercard users has caused a lot of disappointment and frustration among its users. This change is seen as a major downgrade, and the company’s attempts to frame it as an ‘enhancement’ have only added to the anger.
Shame on you, Boingo.