Asda Financial Services

Asda Financial Services

June 25, 2012 08:29 ET

Virgin Announce Plans to Allow In-Flight Mobile Phone Calls

Virgin Atlantic has become the first British airline to allow mobile phone use on planes(i)

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 25, 2012) - Enjoying a quiet snooze on a long-haul flight or having an excuse not to answer your phone may soon become a thing of the past as Virgin Atlantic has launched a new service that allows passengers to use their mobiles inflight.

Passengers travelling between London and New York on the carrier's new A330 Airbus will be able to send and receive text messages, make phone calls and have web access to emails.

The luxury of using mobile phones at 35,000 feet, however, comes at a price. In-flight calls are expected to set phone users back £1 a minute for making calls and 20p for sending text messages.**

This luxury is also exclusive as the service is only available to 10 people at a time because bandwidth is limited at such great heights.

Phones will not be allowed to operate during take-off and landing and they will also have to be turned off within a 250-mile radius of US airspace because of American laws.

Virgin Atlantic is just one of the growing numbers of commercial airlines that are adopting new technology which allows travellers to make mobile phone calls on board.

Low cost airline, Ryanair is another carrier which allows passengers to use phones in-flight. They became the first European airline to launch the service in 2009. Mobile phone users on this airline can face even higher charges as in-call rates are around £3 a minute.

Whilst this may mark the start of an expensive journey, the holiday could be even pricier should valuable items such as a mobile phone become lost or stolen.

Whether you intend using your phone inflight or not, and wherever in the world you are travelling you may wish to consider taking out travel insurance before you go.

Notes for editors

* ** As reported in the Independent 'Hello, I'm on a plane...' Phones are cleared for take-off

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