Virgin Atlantic recently made an announcement claiming they will have a fully functioning wireless signal on all their planes, allowing you to make phone calls and use internet on your cell phone or tablet. Although, is this really a good thing? Much like a movie theater there is limited space on an airplane, and, in some cases, you may be sitting next to someone for well over 12 hours. Would you want those 12 hours filled with possible phone calls? Would you want to hear dozens of people chatting away on their mobile devices all at once while trying to nap the flight away?
Airplanes have always had their own built in phones that you could openly use, for a price. This makes me wonder what the price will be for using your cell phone on an airplane. Will you be constantly in roaming mode? Will the plane have some way to notify your carrier that you’re using it on a plane and charge you more? Or will you only be allowed to use it after paying the airline extra? Those details are still unknown since this won’t even be available until the end of this year.
A company called AeroMobile partnered with Virgin Atlantic to get this service off the ground. Neither companies are really talking about the specifics though. Pricing, roaming or limited time was never mentioned. Knowing how more airlines work, it wouldn’t surprise me if they had some extra payment plan to use it, they have done it before.
I have bad news for those in the USA though, this service won’t be available since it is illegal to use cell phones on a plane, period. All Virgin Atlantic flights will have this service off until they are 250 miles off the coast of the United States. many airliners are salivating at the idea of getting this law relaxed so they can offer the same service as Virgin Atlantic. But considering our climate with the TSA and other airline regulations, I doubt this will be done for at least five years.
Until then, the US airlines will be very quiet.