Last year, Ryanair optimistically announced that they were just “weeks” away from launching their in-air mobile phone and data service.
It took a little longer than planned, but the first 20 planes are now equipped with the gear needed to let passengers annoy their fellow passengers with their mindnumming phone conversations.
The 20 planes are all on routes to and from Dublin, and the service allows passengers to make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and transmit data.
Thankfully, the in-air prices are so high, that most people will probably keep their calls to a simple “hi mom, I’m in the air”.
Calls will cost between €2 and €3 per minute, and data is a staggering €1.50 per 100KB (about the size of a basic email). For comparison – a 3 hour broadband WiFi session on Virgin America costs under $10.
Of course, the whole thing is rather ironic, since we have been told for years that keeping your phone on may result in the plane crashing and killing everyone. That was of course until the airlines learned they could make money off your calls. Then it was suddenly no problem.
Jeffrey covered a different angle of in-flight mobile phones today; the mobile phone in the cockpit. Of course, the issue here is not interference from signals, but the interference from a ringing phone during critical portions of the flight.
I’m pretty much addicted to my mobile phone, but even I think filling a low cost carrier plane with 100 chatting passengers will eventually result in someone having to have their mobile phone surgically removed.