Virgin allows mobile calls in the sky



 

Responding to customer demand, Virgin Atlantic now permits passengers on its new Airbus A330 jet London to New York route, to make mobile phone calls in the sky.

Passengers will be able to make calls, send and receive text messages, plus access emails and use basic internet access via GPRS, the Australian reported.

While the new mobile system will be accessible in all cabins, the service cannot be operated during take-off or landing and must be switched off around 400 kilometers from US airspace.

Due to the limited bandwidth, the service is limited to allow only ten passengers usage of the service at a time, with customers being billed international roaming charges.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said despite there not being any plans of introducing the service to Australia, the airline was responding to customer demand.

The spokesperson added that the new mobile phone system would also be available on the airline’s B747 aircraft, and will be available on 20 planes by the end of 2012.

“We have listened to what customers want and connectivity in the air is always on the wish list,” the spokesperson said.

“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.”

Meanwhile other airlines including Australian carrier, Qantas say they do not have any current plans to offer in air mobile connectivity.

A Qantas spokesperson explained the airline had no plans of introducing an in-flight calling service, despite trialling it five years ago.

“While our customer research shows passengers are keen on connectivity such as the internet, they’re not so keen to be sitting next to someone nattering on their phone on a long-haul flight,” the spokesperson said.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
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