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In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?  
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8471 posts, RR: 10
Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5583 times:
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All SAA's 343, 346 and 744 fleet have a phone at every seat in all classes, in the PTV remote control. I'm sure many other airlines have them too. I have never seen anyone use one, so what's the point? Do they get used on other airlines?


After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5568 times:

Few and far between I would think. I used one once on a DL flight from SLC-ATL only because my cell phone was dead and I had no time to use a pay phone because my flight in from SEA was alte and I had no time to stop during the connection.

DL has pulled them out of some planes already. They are still in the 777 and 764 since they have the remote controls for IFE. They are gone from the refurbed MD-88s and 757s. I don't recall seeing them on the last 763 domestic bird I was on either.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1619 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5543 times:

I used one once for a 1-minute call. It was worth it then, but that was before I had a cellular phone. Nowadays I can't imagine using one.

I will say that the connection was very clear, better than most cellular connections.



smrtrthnu
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8471 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5529 times:
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Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 2):
before I had a cellular phone.

why would that make a difference if you can't use a cell in flight?



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7558 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5484 times:

Quoting Andz (Reply 3):
Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 2):
before I had a cellular phone.

why would that make a difference if you can't use a cell in flight?

Good point, you beat me to the punch w/that one.

We all know that Todd Beamer used a seat phone on UA Flight 93.

I was recently on 2 DL 738s. I could've sworn that I saw in-seat phones on the backs of the middle seats. I will be flying US tomorrow and Monday (on an A321 & 757 respectively) so I will get a chance to see whether they still have in-seat phones... I know they used to.

The first time I saw one of those seat phones was on a ML MD-80 I flew on back in 1990.

At present, I've never had to use one.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineFlairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5466 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 4):
We all know that Todd Beamer used a seat phone on UA Flight 93.

Which is why I think airlines should keep the phones in their planes. In the highly unlikely event that anothe 9/11 or the like happens again, it would be a very valuable resource. I have never used one, but I have been VERY tempted to try it out.


User currently offlineAPFPilot1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5430 times:

I used one once years ago to dial into a flight tracker to see where our flight was, the delay was so bad it wasn't worth it.

User currently offlineSJCRRPAX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5430 times:

Quoting Andz (Reply 3):
Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 2):
before I had a cellular phone.

why would that make a difference if you can't use a cell in flight?

People now use their cell phones before take off and right after landing, so most people do not need to use the air phone during the flight. Also people don't need to use the pay phones in the airport, or hotel phones for that matter.


User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1619 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5415 times:

I did not use it 'in flight' per se, but as we were taxiing out to the runway, if I recall correctly. It happened so fast that I don't remember the circumstances, and we may have been airborne.

I was connecting in CVG to a flight to either DCA or IAD. The flight to our destination was going to be delayed and they offered to check us in for a flight to the other airport, baggage would be no problem. I took them up on the offer. It happened very quickly and there was no time to call my bro in Washington. So I called him on the plane phone and told him to go to the other airport.

For me, that time, it was very convenient. Clearly I wouldn't have called en route with a cellular phone. Like I say, I don't remember if we were taxiing or airborne or if this was just when we boarded. I just remember that it was crystal clear, very convenient and very expensive - something like $7 for a 1 minute call.



smrtrthnu
User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5415 times:

I don't know but on most airlines - with the possible exception of Emirates' seemingly subsidised price plan - the cost of such calls are extortionate.


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4138 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5360 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
Few and far between I would think. I used one once on a DL flight from SLC-ATL only because my cell phone was dead and I had no time to use a pay phone because my flight in from SEA was late and I had no time to stop during the connection.

DL has pulled them out of some planes already. They are still in the 777 and 764 since they have the remote controls for IFE. They are gone from the refurbed MD-88s and 757s. I don't recall seeing them on the last 763 domestic bird I was on either.

Back in January I was on a flight from SLC-SAN on DL and the MD-90 a/c they were not there since it was one in both instances with a refurbished interior. I used one once flying on DL in an old 762 back in December 2000 from CVG-SLC for a five minute call and it was totaled out to be over $10.00.
I think it will prove to be cost effective if they can develop a system where people can use their cell-phones and not interfere with the air-nav system, and the airline can make money from the roaming charges.



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8914 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5351 times:

I used one once...

I was on US Airways, and was going to try and do some work on the transcon SFO-CLT flight. US Airways had Verizon JetConnect on there, so I figured I could use that, get on my AOL Instant Messenger account, and get in touch with people, since I was in the middle of a travel marathon (where I was on planes for about 24 hours out of 44, and other times were in meetings, asleep, or while normal people would be sleeping.) I was having troubling connecting, so I called the tech hotline there (free of charge)...I guess I had some networking problem with my laptop, so it didn't work as planned. Anyway, the call was crystal clear - it just felt awkward (a) using a phone on a plane and (b) talking into a phone on a very quiet airplane environment (it was kind of like talking in the library).

Jeff


User currently offlineCs03 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 414 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5339 times:
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Just to clarify: I was on a DL 738 on 3/1/06, and there were seat phones in Y. (SLC/BDL).

User currently offline747400F From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5323 times:

Why not use your headset and Skype, if you are on a plane with internet connection? I did last time I flew SK - worked perfectly and was free too ( aprt from the Connexion charge for the whole flight anyway.

User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8471 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5316 times:
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Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 10):
a five minute call and it was totaled out to be over $10.00

I think that the charge on SAA is about $9 a minute.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13552 posts, RR: 100
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5307 times:
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Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
DL has pulled them out of some planes already.

Unfortunately, the revenue does not justify the cost of hauling around the weight of the phones. Expect them to go the way of the dodo. While its nice to do stuff for this reason or that reason, there just isn't an economic reason to keep the phones in the planes after the contracts with Verizon et al expire.

Now if they replace the seats with phones with nice new models that are carbon fiber, PTV's, indents for the knee caps, and the magazines above/behind the PTV to give more leg room... that would be sweet! I accept the fact that economics dictates airline decisions. Let's make positive decisions that improve the perceived experience.  Wink

Quoting 747400F (Reply 13):
Why not use your headset and Skype, if you are on a plane with internet connection? I did last time I flew SK - worked perfectly and was free too ( aprt from the Connexion charge for the whole flight anyway.

Good idea! I just might do this...  spin 

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5298 times:

The great thing about EK is that you can call to other seats - don't know if this is unique to EK, but I thought it was a nice feature.


Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineSuperhub From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 478 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5282 times:

I have used inflight phones on a few occasions. Have used them on CX and VS on long-hauls. Most of them are only 1-minute long. Have never tried on any US airlines though, probably because the flights are too short to justify a call.

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 16):
The great thing about EK is that you can call to other seats - don't know if this is unique to EK, but I thought it was a nice feature.

VS does that too I believe.


User currently offlinePawsleykat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1978 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5266 times:

I used one for ages on KL AMS-JFK on a B772. I used my dad's credit card and he nearly had a heart attack coz it was bloody expensive.

JG



First Class passengers are my favourites. They can't get any further forward without an ATPL.
User currently offlineRiddlePilot215 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5266 times:
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Quoting Andz (Reply 3):
why would that make a difference if you can't use a cell in flight?

The phones in the airplanes are most likely satellite phones. You pocket cell phone works off of radio range, and line of sight. Your cell phone isn't nearly strong enough to emit a radio signal that will penetrate through atmosphere at 10,000 feet plus. If it did, we'd all have cancer/ tumors/ growth on our ears.

Secondly, if your cell did work above 10,000 feet, imagine the chaos that would put on the cell phone system? You'd have an unlimited number of cell phone towers in view, all by different providers. Since your phone would have nearly an infinate number of towers in view, it would bounce your call off of every single one of them, not just the closest one to your position. If a couple thousand people at any given time on airplanes decided to use their phones, the system would crash. Sort of like what happened with Verizon after 9/11 and the North tower collasped. There isn't enough capacity in this country to justify the use of cell phones while in flight, on top of that safety directions and pertinent instructions would go unheeded by the few who wished to run their mouths during what I think, is the most important part of the flight.



God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8471 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5248 times:
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Quoting RiddlePilot215 (Reply 19):

My point was, the poster said he used the in seat phone before getting a cell phone. I said why would that make a difference as cell use in flight isn't allowed anyway. I wasn't debating the technology in use.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1875 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5240 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

I've got a discount package for Verizon Airfone and use it once in a while on flights. Whenever I fly over Iowa, I call my grandma and tell her where I am. I'm kind of bummed out that more and more airlines are not supporting this service anymore. However, I see them still on CO aircraft and have even seen some installed on ERJ's. Granted, there is only one for the whole plane and it's right in front of seat 1A, but I'm sure if you needed to, you could kindly ask the person sitting there if you could step around the corner and make a call.

If the phone service wasn't so overpriced, I'm sure more people would make use of it. But, like any price points set, it has to do with available capacity and I'm sure that they can't place that many calls over the limited frequency band that they are allotted. If there were more competition though, it could enable more efficient methods of delivering the calls, more capacity, and hence, cheaper calls. Just like how cell phones have gone down so much in price in recent years.

I'm sure the added weight of the phones and phone equipment is not worth it to most carriers anymore. They would rather remove the phones and save the extra bit of fuel or have the extra bit of payload capacity.



Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8663 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5226 times:

I tried over and over to use the phone on a US Airways flight but I couldn't. Due to bad weather, I was not only severely delayed but I had ben re-route to a completely different city from which I would drive/bus to my final destination, and wanted to call my wife to let her know. I had tried using my cell phone before I got on the plane but was unable to reach her. Since I have Verizon Wireless, the prices listed weren't that bad. When I called the listed Airphone number for support, the guy on the other side had no idea what I was talking about. Does anyone know what the secret is for using an Airphone on US?

User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4920 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5175 times:

I use them for work rleated calls from time to time and if it's a friend of family member's birthday or something like that while I'm away. The calls are always clear but being as criminally expensive as they are I try to keep them brief.

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineAlexPorter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5128 times:

The middle seats had Verizon phones on a CO 737-900 I flew from PHX-IAH in December. As far as I could tell no one placed a call, but the little screen displayed updating stock quotes and things like that, which was pretty neat.

25 DeltaGator : I was on a CO flight from ATL to IAH a couple of weeks ago and that 733 had them. I was in the bulkhead of First and all four seats across the front
26 Post contains images SA7700 : I have used the SMS service on the dreadfully long daylight QF flight from SYD-JNB. We had a late departure and the headwinds were not favourable eit
27 Baguy : One of my friends flew Emirates BHX-DXB, and he said people used them.
28 Bond007 : yes, actually with Verizon you can get 10c/min calls I believe with a $10 month fee if you are a Verizon subscriber and sign-up. That's what it said
29 Fbgdavidson : I've never used one myself but saw someone on a BA flight from LHR-LAX about six years ago use one for the best part of an hour. I don't have a BA inf
30 HanginOut : Austrian has this feature as well.
31 Post contains images PHLBOS : It turned out that both of my flights were A321s (for me, this is the first time that equipment changes occurred; the flights were originally schedul
32 Mattlad : i have used singapore airlines's seat phone a lot,its on the back of the handset.its called krisfone
33 747LUVR : I used the phone on a VS 744 last year to call my wife while we were 1/2 way over the pond...eastbound...clear reception, but a LARGE phone rather to
34 Post contains links Copenhagenboy : i have never tried and have never seen anybody use the system. Maybe because I have been travelling on planes where it was not in the seat in economy,
35 UN_B732 : on AA I think it was something like $12 just to connect trans-atlantic. This was on a 763
36 UN_B732 : btw, anyone here remember Verizon JetConnect? It doesn't appear to exist anymore.
37 Post contains images PHLBOS : I don't know about the JetConnect part of the name (it sounds too similar to the now-defunct AirTran Jet Connect regional airline services provided b
38 UA777222 : I have used flight phones all the time. Mainly on UA's PS F service as the seat and area provides a great work space to get your stuff done. If I'm in
39 NateDAL : Years back, I was on a flight from SAN to IAH. A man sitting across the isle was on the phone for nearly the entire flight. That must have been an exp
40 Byronsterk : No European carrier that i've flown (and i've flown a lot of them) has those phones.
41 UA777222 : I think this is becuause you can find older aircraft here in the states than that of the EU. When I say old I mean circa 2000. Matt
42 Galleyhag : I work for bmi and we have them too in our Business and Premium Economy cabins. You can call seat to seat too which is quite cool. We get a LOT of peo
43 UN_B732 : JetConnect was this IM/e-mail service on CO. It seems to have disappeared from Verizon's site. I never used it, but apparently it wasn't bad. btw, Aer
44 Cadet57 : It still exists, it was on US Air in july when I flew BOS-AUA on an A319.
45 USPIT10L : The last time I non-reved on DL I tried to use it and then heard the charge! Extortion! But when you don't have a cell, you really have no choice. Any
46 Sabena332 : I used an inflight phone once on a Sabena flight because I simply wanted to know how the connection quality is. I called my parents somewhere near Ice
47 UAalltheway : It's still there. Verizon Airphone (including JetConnect) is on almost all US mainline carriers. The only carrier I can think of that may have anothe
48 Cmk10 : I had to use one once as I was flying from LHR-LAX with an onward connection and the agents at LHR had told me my reservation had been altered for the
49 UN_B732 : does nw even have in-flight phones? I might like to use their internet service (like JetConnect) on MSP-PDX later next onth.
50 Captaink : US removed the Airphone on quite a number of airplanes in their fleet. Some airplanes still have it, and i remember correcttly from the inflight prog
51 Kaniksu : I don't think I would ever use an in seat phone in any other situation but that one.
52 Aviationwiz : I thought only 2 of the 744's had the service or equipment required to use the air phone's, because on most of my 744 flights, the phone says somethi
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