Get Ready To Use Your Cell Phone While Flying

virgin atlantic plane

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The days of no cell phones in the air may be coming to an end.According to a report in The Daily Mail, Virgin Atlantic has added GPRS antennas to its new Airbus A330s so passengers can make in flight calls.

The service is starting today and works for customers of the European O2 and Vodafone networks.

Virgin Atlantic says that passengers will not be able to make calls during takeoff and landing, and US regulations will require that they turn off the antennas about 250 miles away from American airspace.

As you would expect, it’s not free. It’s about $1.60 per minute to make a phone call and $0.32 to send a text. Currently, the system will only be able to handle 10 simultaneous phone calls.

While this may be great news for business travellers who need to a get some emergency work done, there are a number of people that believe the potential noise that the calls can produce would be detrimental to everyone on the plane.

The cost should ensure that the calls will be short, but it is yet to be seen how it will impact resting travellers.

Virgin Atlantic is planning to add the service to all 747 aircraft as well, with 20 aircraft capable of accepting calls by the end of 2012.

Now check out Virgin’s new First Class cabin >

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