Virgin Becomes the First UK Airline to Let You Jabber On Your Blower Mid-Flight

By Sam Gibbs on at

Virgin's just rolled out in-flight calling, provided AeroMobile, which will set you back about the same as your regular roaming provider. Finally, you'll be able to make that crucial in-flight call to your mates, to find out what the hell caused you to get that effigy of Sir Richard Branson tattooed on your back when you were blind drunk last night.

A couple of other airlines currently offer in-flight calling, including Qantas, Emirates and Lufthansa, while BA permits in-flight texting, but only between London City and New York. Now Virgin has become the first British airline to off full-blown calling.

There's a catch though, and that's that you can't make a call within 250 miles US airspace, which seems a bit extreme to me, but best to no defy the Americans with their gun-toting Air Marshals and all.

The service will kick off on Virgin's new Airbus A330 plans, which fly from London to New York, but will roll out to 17 other planes before the year is out. Those thinking 3G's going to sort them for in-flight entertainment might be a tad disappointed to find only GPRS on offer, because of the small number of lines are available. You'll also have to kill it during take-off and landing, but after that you're free to yack-on to your hearts content.

I can't say I'm a massive fan of the in-flight phone calls, really. Wi-Fi and data yes, voice calls, no; it's already loud enough with the baby screaming its lungs out behind you. Still, Virgin's looking at Wi-Fi for its 787 Dreamliner, which should come into service by 2014, and I'll be all over that. [Telegraph]

Image credit: Virgin from Shutterstock