Virgin Atlantic to Allow In-Flight Cell Phone Calls
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

(Image: Virgin Atlantic)

Frequent fliers no longer have to wait to hop off the plane to make calls. Virgin Atlantic is redefining long-distance calling, allowing customers flying between New York and London to place in-flight calls on their cell phone.

The airline is launching the service later this month with plans to expand this service to ten more routes by the end of 2012, according to TechCrunch. Virgin Atlantic is joining forces with AeroMobile, a subsidiary of Telenor, to bring this service to its Airbus 330 planes. AeroMobile creates “a small, low-powered cell network on the plane and then routes calls from the plane through a satellite network that relays the calls to the ground.”

Customers will still have to turn their phones off during take-off and landing, and since U.S. regulations prohibit cell phone usage on commercial flights, the service won’t be accessible within 250 miles of U.S. airspace.

Calls will cost around the same as an international roaming call, which is around $1.29 per minute and up depending on where you’re calling. Passengers will also be able to send and receive text messages, as well as browse the web using AeroMobile’s GPRS connection.

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Janel Martinez

With a focus on news and the under 35 crowd, Martinez develops engaging, daily reports for She also pens the blog, After School Daze: Life After Undergrad, where she delves into the day-to-day issues and concerns of recent graduates trying to adapt to life off campus. Prior to Black Enterprise, the Bronx, N.Y. native contributed to Latina,,, Syracuse Record and The Post-Standard. When she's not writing articles, the self-proclaimed travelista is on the prowl for her next excursion.   Martinez holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and sociology from Syracuse University.