We have all felt the pain of switching our smartphones off or activating flight mode when we board a flight, but with Virgin Atlantic’s Aeromobile in-flight technology, that may be a thing of the past. The basic idea is that you’ll be able to make calls and send texts using your smartphone or cell phone during the flight. Instead of being charged an expensive rate per minute, you’ll be charged your usual international roaming rate and the charges will appear on your mobile bill as normal.
Using smartphone on Virgin Atlantic flight — Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic
Naturally Virgin has carefully tested its system to ensure that there's no risk of interference with the aircraft. You will still have to turn off your phone during takeoff and landing, but the crew will make an announcement when it is safe to turn your phone on and you’ll be free to use it while you fly. It will also be possible to access the Internet, but downloading data from your network is liable to be very expensive so Virgin suggests that you turn data roaming off.
The new service uses satellite technology and it is already available on several Virgin Atlantic aircraft. Improvements in entertainment and comfort, along with relaxed restrictions on using your personal electronics on board are really helping to take the sting out of air travel.