Train operator blames Covid for restricting WiFi to premium seats

Originally published at:


Okay, I’m sorry, but there is a LOT more to this story. It’s not a money grab at all. In fact, there’s a very good reason for this.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the full explanation is not available to BoingBoing Standard members.



@beschizza Rob, for future reference it’s a bellwether not a bellweather

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You will no doubt find one or two sites that may claim it has an ‘e’ in it, but they are wrong.


Spellchecker hated “airlinification” so much I didn’t notice how much it hated “bellweather”


US airlines be like “Why didn’t we think of that?”.


(PS Seamus’s post on the Wilburys has its comments link going straight back to blog view, not to BBS. Second one of his to do that in past day or so, IIRC)

@beschizza (Also, "insiniated’ in the BP/Downfall post. :wink: )

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There have been numerous accounts of airlines making money most of their money off first class cabins, with economy cabins barely paying for the fuel. The extra amenities in first class attract fools willing to pay five times as much for a ticket.

The price structure of this particular train might have been designed with pre epidemic levels of demand in mind. A certain percentage of passengers will opt for the premium service-- and presto, the twenty seats in first class are filled. With reduced demand overall, maybe four or five premium seats get filled, and the profitability of the train drops dramatically.

So, limiting Wifi to first class seats is a way to encourage people to pay more for a ticket, and have a chance of paying for the fixed costs of running the train. But asking people to care about the profitability of your business model is doomed to failure.


“I’m sorry, unlimited bits are in limited supply, so while we will provide you with downloads speeds in excess of 300mbps, we will limit your consumption of bits to 500 Gigabytes unless you fork over extra money.” - Every Cable Company in the US


Total BS. If they want to throttle video for non-premium seats, ok, but I don’t know how they expected to use COVID as an excuse and not be called out immediately for it.


Because everyone knows Covid is spread by 5G, so this makes perfect sense. /s


(chef’s kiss gif, only visible to BoingBoing Premium members)


I prefer riding in steerage anyways. Fewer murderous Billy Zanes.


The major advances in social services and the social safety network in the US happened as a result of the Great Depression - conditions got so bad, and so many people were close to starving and out of work, that the wealthy people who controlled labor conditions and the economy had to give in to worker’s demands because they saw that there was a very real chance of violent revolution if they didn’t. FDR was only able to push through the New Deal because of wealthy people’s fear.

That may happen again in the next few years, we’ll see. The current pandemic economic collapse, which will expand and deepen as ongoing global heating catastrophes increase, will ensure that major changes will happen - who they will benefit is up for grabs right now.

And for now, of course, corporations are continuing as usual, squeezing employees and squeezing customers to accumulate as much profit for as little value as possible, while ignoring anything beyond the next 6 months. There’s no way to predict who will win the coming struggles.




You may be on your way to a Pedant Pendant if you keep on like this. :wink:


Was that the failed dot-com start-up that tried to predict future photography trends on flickr?


The Eurostar is already plenty airlinified anyway, what with the security check and the need to show up early.

Security checks don’t apply to first class customers

Either that or a Welsh town

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