Whoever says nobody talks on phones anymore must not be flying very much. The nanosecond the flight attendant begins to utter the phrase, “The plane has come to a stop, and you can now use your cell phones,” there is a chorus of beeps followed by a herd of voices all, seemingly, yelling to their loved ones phrases like, “WE JUST LANDED” or “JUST KEEP CIRCLING THE LOT. I’LL BE AT BAGGAGE CLAIM IN 10 MINUTES” My favorite comes from the suited business traveler,“DID YOU GET MY EMAIL?” Virgin Atlantic has just announced that ut will now offer cell service during some of its flights.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Only six passengers at a time will be able to use the system, which the airline says is intended “for use in exceptional situations.” Passengers will be able to send text messages, make a call or access email on mobile devices. An airline spokesman could not say how much a call would cost.
Initially, the service — which utilizes a satellite connection — will only be available for customers of European cell phone providers O2 and Vodafone and U.S. carrier T-Mobile.
I think I’ve already listed three of what people are bound to consider “exceptional situations” above. The service is initially only being offered on Virgin flights between New York and London. Let’s see, two rows with three seats each, divided by an aisle – I’m pretty sure, if I were on one of the trans-Atlantic flights, I would be sitting on the aisle seat, five of six squawkers on either side.