By James Drakeford
Posted: 18th May 2012 13:01
Do your hands feel redundant when they’re not texting away? Do you hate those eight hour flights from London to New York when you seem to be cut off from the rest of the world? Then we have some great news for you. Passengers on Sir Richard Branson’s airline, Virgin Atlantic, will now be able to make and receive phone calls while in the air.
The facility which also includes the sending and receiving of text messages will initially be available on Virgin’s new Airbus A330 aircraft flying from London to New York. It will also feature on the airline’s Boeing 747 planes, which are currently going through a £50 million refurbishment.
By the end of 2012, nearly 20 aircraft will provide the service. The A330 is undergoing a £100 million investment by Virgin, including a redesigned upper class (first class) cabin. The new mobile phone system will be available throughout the aircraft in all cabins and is targeted at business travellers.
The service is not permitted during take-off or landing, and American laws mean that it has to be turned off around 250 miles from US airspace.
Hopefully this will not follow other forms of public transport such as the bus and train where you are sure to find one adolescent sat at the back blaring music through their mobile, while the person sat next to you loudly share every last detail of their day. Either way, I’m sure you will agree that this is a massive step forward.