This story is one I can relate too. I remember back in the 1990's when I was flying coast to coast about once every two to three weeks on business that I made extensive use of a special program via GTE Airphone. For a flat $1,000 I could talk all I wanted to in the air. Of course I used a laptop, PDA and Apple Newton at various legs of the flight and would get online dealing with email and reading faxes that were pushed to my email box. And yes, I also talked on the phone. After doing the math, back in the era of .12 cents per minute dialing, it amounted to a break even proposition versus being in my office, and it also meant no more red eyes as clients don't really want you ever to be unavailable, even when you're flying to see them.
If this really is as good as it sounds, sorry I couldn't resist, it could drive usage of in plane Internet.