But first, good news for those in the United States – federal laws still say that calls and texts while within 250 miles of United States airspace are not allowed while airborne. Past that, anything goes on the upcoming Virgin Atlantic jets that will be fitted with tech that will allow for roaming calling, texting, and web use at 35,000 feet.
This mostly applies to those in the United Kingdom, though. Virgin is partnering with AeroMobile on the updated jets, which will provide some of the tech behind the service. As of now, only those who use O2 or Vodafone will be able to make calls, and roaming charges will apply. Calls using the service will cost £1/minute, while texts will cost 20p each.
Virgin is aiming to have 20 such jets in the skies by the end of the year. As expected, there has been much hand-wringing as a result of the announcement, with claims that noise in confined places contributes to stress. Granted, that’s pretty much true – if you’re not the one making calls, having to listen in on someone’s conversation when you’re trying to get what little sleep you can manage on an airplane probably isn’t going to be very pleasant. Currently, the service will only be able to handle ten calls at one time, which is still more than enough to put just about the entire airplane on edge.
So, if you’re a frequent flyer, just remember – do your absolute best not to smack the fifteenth person you hear say “Hello? Hey? Hey, guess where am I right now! No, no, just guess.” It’s not going to be easy.
Via The Daily Mail