Published on May 16th, 2012 | by James Johnson0
Virgin Atlantic Will Soon Allow Cell Phones On Airplanes
Virgin Atlantic is about to become the newest consumer airline company to allow cell phone service while flying. The airline announced on Wednesday that it will allow customers to make in-flight phone calls, send and receive text messages, check e-mail and even surf the web (slow GPRS speeds) from their mobile devices.
The new option is being added to A330 Airbus planes on flights from New York to London with 20 planes offering the option by the end of the year. Virgin Atlantic also plans to offer the service on retrofitted Boeing 747s.
According to Virgin Atlantic Chief Operating Officer Steve Griffiths
“We have listened to what customers want and connectivity in the air is always on the wish list. 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 reminding a family member to feed the cat.”
The service will be limited to six passengers at a time and it is not cheap at $1.20 per minute.
According to the airline:
“The service is intended for use in exceptional situations, when passengers need to send an SMS, make a quick call, or access an e-mail on a BlackBerry,” the company said.
At first the program will only be available to O2 and Vodafone customers, however the airline planes to expand carrier options as the program is tested.
Cell phones calls will not be allowed during take-offs, landings, and within 250 miles of U.S. airspace.