Feb 20 2009   8:41AM GMT


edoyle Profile: edoyle


It had to happen someday but sometimes where it happens is the surprise. Ryanair is rolling out voice and data mobile phone services on all of its flights – stealing a march on BA which will only make calls available on its forthcoming business-class-only London City Airport to New York flights this autumn.

In a world where we’ve got used to the stripped-down services of budget flight operators, it seems odd that one of them is now offering a premium service. In reality, the service offered is supplied by OnAir, a third-party specialist in airborne telephony systems. The plane becomes a mobile cell of its own and as such has to be registered with the various mobile phone service providers. Calls are therefore charged at different tariffs according to which provider is used. One minute of call time typically costs £2-£3.50 which is hardly a budget rate.

The service is initially being offered on flights to Dublin and will be extended to other flights over the next year.

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