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Hanging Up on In Flight Calls

According to most recent surveys, passengers don't want in flight calling on airliners flying around the globe. That's interesting because for many years GTE (now a part of Verizon) had an in flight calling service where phones were one every row, and each first class seat had a phone.

I was one of those people who took advantage one year of a flat rate, $1,000 a year calling plan and connected my Apple Newton and Palm Pilot to the data port on the phone and besides making calls over the phone, stayed connected while flying. Whatever year that was, I guess I was one of the first people to actually surf the pre-web, using apps that connected me to Compuserve Information Service, The Source and a fledgling service from Apple and AOL, as well as the The Well. 

As someone who was flying a monthly flight across the nation and at least one or two flights north and south along each coast every few months, I did the math on what I was paying on the ground, or via my then cell phone bill and came to the conclusion that staying connected in the air for $1,000.00 a year was a break even or better proposition. This was also the era where I was buying thousands of minutes a month for a flat rate for my long distance calling, as deregulation had hit the land line business.

But I digress. The story here is about calling, or not calling from the sky. Personally, I would welcome a first class or business class "phone booth" or cone of silence area so when that call needs to be made, or someone needs to be reached, they can be, the same way they would need to be reached on a private plane.

Not everything can be done via chat or email, but the idea of the rest of the travelers not hearing the conversation to me has to be an essential part of the whole process.


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