It’s been debated for more than a decade — cell phones on planes. Dangerous? Annoying? Impractical?
And that’s the part Virgin Atlantic will capitalize on when it starts to provide cellular service between London and New York on its new Airbus A330
Slashgear reports that Virgin is partnering with European carrier AeroMobile to provide phone call, text messaging, and email service during the transatlantic flights. Federal law still prohibits cell use in airplanes in American airspace, so the cell use will have to be relegated to international airspace.
“Many people will have experienced that moment when you’re about to take off on a 10-hour flight and you need to send an important message to the office, or even remind a family member to feed the cat,” said Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer of Virgin Atlantic, in an interview with the Daily Mail. “It’s also quite fun to call home and say ‘Guess where I am’ — not many people would think you’re travelling at 35,000 ft above the Atlantic Ocean.”
The aerial cellular service will cost about $1.50 per minute for calls and 30 cents for each text message. Virgin is also expected to limit usage to 10 people at a time because of limited bandwidth.
Virgin joins Ryanair and Emirates as the only carriers allowing travelers to use cell phones in flight. The company plans to roll out the program to its 747 fleet and up to 20 aircraft by the end of the year.
This is a good time to get the comments section going. What do you think of cell phones in flight? Share your thoughts below!