andz
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In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:52 am

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...
 
deltagator
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:57 am

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."
 
saab2000
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:06 am

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
 
andz
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:10 am

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...
 
PHLBOS
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:21 am

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.
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FLAIRPORT
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:27 am

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.
NEXT FLIGHT: FLL-ATL-HPN on FL
 
APFPilot1985
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:37 am

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.
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SJCRRPAX
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:38 am

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.
 
saab2000
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:39 am

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.
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SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:40 am

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.
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SLCUT2777
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:59 am

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.
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deltairlines
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:02 am

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
 
cs03
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:04 am

Just to clarify: I was on a DL 738 on 3/1/06, and there were seat phones in Y. (SLC/BDL).
 
747400F
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:07 am

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.
All humans have the right to marry the one they love
 
andz
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:09 am

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...
 
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lightsaber
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:13 am

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
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BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:15 am

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.
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superhub
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:20 am

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.
 
pawsleykat
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:23 am

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
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RiddlePilot215
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:23 am

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.
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andz
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:26 am

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...
 
acidradio
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:28 am

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.
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airbazar
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:30 am

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?
 
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yowza
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:46 am

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
 
AlexPorter
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:07 am

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.
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deltagator
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:24 am

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 24):
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.

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 had phones right in front of them. Not one was used once.

I'm with you on the stock ticker. I've used the Airfone once in all my time flying but I like being able to keep track of the market while flying. If only they could run a full ticker instead of just highlights.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
SA7700
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:36 am

Quoting Andz (Thread starter):
Do they get used on other airlines?

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 either. Its a quite usefull tool, when you can see that you are not going to make your onward connection, also when you are bored out of your skull.  Smile


Rgds

SA7700
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baguy
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:57 am

One of my friends flew Emirates BHX-DXB, and he said people used them.
 
bond007
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:17 am

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 22):
Since I have Verizon Wireless, the prices listed weren't that bad.

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 on the phone in front of me this morning anyway on US.


Jimbo
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fbgdavidson
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:52 am

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 inflight magazine to hand but I seem to remember the prices are extortionate even for inseat phone prices. $5 for connection plus 40 cents per second seems to ring a bell. At that rate the 45min phone call would be $1085.00.
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HanginOut
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:17 am

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.

Austrian has this feature as well.
Dreaming of the day I can work for an airline
 
PHLBOS
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:46 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 4):
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.

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 scheduled as 733 & 757 flights respectively). There were NO In-seat phones to be found anywhere; although on the backs of the Business/First Class seats there was a matching-colored plastic strip (about the size of an airphone) mounted where the phone would be. The Coach-class seats just had the standard seatbacks.

Ironically, following the safety demonstration video; there was an advertisement on how to use the airphones presented. Slight Oops on US' part. Big grin
They need to edit that part out of their A321 video compilation.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
mattlad
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:50 am

i have used singapore airlines's seat phone a lot,its on the back of the handset.its called krisfone
 
747luvr
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:12 am

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 use...pretty cool though. $5 american per minute..so I got a $15 bill for it on my cc. Was worth it though!
 
copenhagenboy
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:08 am

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, but on the wall in the galley. Never mind, SAS and other are now introducing internetconnection in all classes. I have just talked with a friend via Skype, routed CPH-EWR. It was crystal clear.
Copy pasted:
Payment
SAS Net Access offers flexible payment rates to suit your working needs. We will reduce the price from 31st of January.

- Access for the duration of the flight will cost USD 26.95
- Pay as you go costs USD 9.95 for the first 60 minutes and
25 cent per minute thereafter

You can pay with a credit card, via associated service providers or with EuroBonus points.

Edited to say it is only on their intercontinental flights

http://www.scandinavian.net/EC/Appl/...9789D2B2731%2526MKT%253DUS,00.html

http://www.scandinavian.net/EC/Appl/...318E95EA28B%2526MKT%253DUS,00.html

[Edited 2006-03-29 20:14:00]
 
UN_B732
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:15 am

on AA I think it was something like $12 just to connect trans-atlantic.
This was on a 763
What now?
 
UN_B732
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:17 am

btw, anyone here remember Verizon JetConnect? It doesn't appear to exist anymore.
What now?
 
PHLBOS
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:03 am

Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 36):
btw, anyone here remember Verizon JetConnect? It doesn't appear to exist anymore.

 confused  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 by Air Wisconsin) but I believe Verizon still offers airphone services. The US Airways ad I saw on my flight showed a Verizon logo on the airphone. The airphones I saw on my earlier DL 738 flights featured similar Verizon airphones. Maybe Verizon just renamed the service. Anybody know?
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
ua777222
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:08 am

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 infront of my PC and need a certain file or stat sheet all I have to do is call into the office and get the numbers. Albeit it's one expensive call but if you need info asap it still is extremely handy. Even private jets have them as an essentual item. I have been on the G-II, G-III, and G-IV all which had them and I was one of 4 in our tem on the flight and all of us were using them to get our work done. The fax and such was also an added bonus but I was also told that you could recieve faxes on the flight phones if you have proper fax software on your computer.

Thanks again,

Matt
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
nateDAL
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:14 am

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 expensive call.
Set Love Free
 
byronsterk
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:21 am

No European carrier that i've flown (and i've flown a lot of them) has those phones.
Helicopters can't fly, there just so ugly the earth repells them...
 
ua777222
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:49 am

Quoting Byronsterk (Reply 40):
No European carrier that i've flown (and i've flown a lot of them) has those phones.

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
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
galleyhag
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:56 am

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 people using them because of delays etc. In fact, we had a man in Business once whose wife was in labour in the U.S and he was frantically trying to get there in time. He rang the hospital and they arranged for a speaker phone to be put in the room with her. He listened to her giving birth for 45 mins (at $9 a min!) and then we popped open a bottle of champagne to celebrate!
 
UN_B732
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:43 am

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, Aeroflot's leased 777s had satellie phones in some locations, but no mention of rates anywhere. I don't know who would do that, not knowing the cost.
What now?
 
Cadet57
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:24 am

Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 36):
btw, anyone here remember Verizon JetConnect? It doesn't appear to exist anymore.

It still exists, it was on US Air in july when I flew BOS-AUA on an A319.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
USPIT10L
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:02 am

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. Anyway, I tried to use it, but it didn't work. This was back in April on an MD-88 that hadn't gotten refurbished yet.
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Sabena332
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:06 am

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 Iceland, I can't remember correct but I think I talked 2 minutes and had to pay 17 USD or so.

Patrick
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UAalltheway
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RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:01 am

Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 43):
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, Aeroflot's leased 777s had satellie phones in some locations, but no mention of rates anywhere. I don't know who would do that, not knowing the cost.

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 another carrier or something is NW, but I haven't flown them in years.
 
CMK10
Posts: 1826
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:56 am

RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:04 am

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 onboard connections and my seats were lost. I called a friend from the plane to look into it for me as I wanted to make sure seats were waiting for me when I landed. THe best part was that it did make me feel like a pretty important person with that phone.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
UN_B732
Posts: 3529
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:57 am

RE: In Seat Phones, Who Uses Them?

Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:26 am

does nw even have in-flight phones?
I might like to use their internet service (like JetConnect) on MSP-PDX later next onth.
What now?

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