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Travel Tip: Wi-Fi, Text Messages & Cell Phones In Flight

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cell phone on a plane, image credit BigStockBy now you’ve heard about electronic devices being allowed on planes below 10,000 feet. So are cell phones in the air the next step? The FCC voted recently to consider lifting the ban on cell phones in flight. After all, it’s not a safety concern. And new developments mean there’s no risk of disrupting cellular networks on the ground.

It is, however, an issue of etiquette. Even the chairman of the FCC himself said he’s not personally a fan of the idea. Why? Because no one wants to be stuck for 5 hours overhearing someone else’s conversations. Think of all the ambient noise on a plane and how loud you’d have to speak.

Bottom line, it’s going to be up to each individual airline to make the decision. Delta and JetBlue have already said no to in flight phone calls

In the meantime, airlines are getting more creative with ways to entertain passengers in flight. Southwest Airlines is now allowing passengers to use iMessage for $2, from gate to gate.

JetBlue has launched satellite-based Wi-Fi on its fleet, instead of relying on ground-based cell towers—it’s much faster and will allow video streaming in flight. So keep watching this space because changes are coming lightning fast.

For more information, visit the airline archives.

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