Europe Approves In-Flight Cell Calls, Travel Gets Even More Annoying

Illustration for article titled Europe Approves In-Flight Cell Calls, Travel Gets Even More Annoying

Be happy to arrive late to every cellphone technology party, America, because the European Union has just approved the use of cellphones in airplanes. Effective immediately, any compliant aircraft will allow for in- and outbound calls using regular cellphones starting at 9,800 feet. The technical requirements are quite simple.


You will only need an on-board base in the plane. The base will relay all calls to a satellite, which will pass them to the ground-based cell network. According to the BBC, the service will start appearing as early as next month, starting with Air France—which apparently is ready for deployment—and following with low cost airline Ryanair. For sure, one thing that is not going to be low cost are the calls themselves.

Expect to pay an arm and a leg for this air roaming, even while government agencies are already watching for abusive practice. [BBC News]


I'm A Different Bird

@winexprt: So as soon as the plane left the ground, you were on your cellphone? And you had an altimeter to measure the fact that you were a mere 800 feet off the ground? An altimeter that somehow worked properly in a pressurized cabin?

And not once in your "many" experiments did your plane get grounded by paranoid airline staff?

Again, your story fails in the believability department.