How do you pass your time spent on a plane? Perhaps you read a book. Maybe you catch up some Hollywood gossip reading a magazine, take a nap, or, you might even break out your colored pencils and adult coloring books for a few hours of peace and zen. How about texting? It’s becoming more commonplace for airlines to offer Wi-Fi services that allow passengers to text. But is it really worth it? Here’s what we know about in-flight texting.
Texting allows for quiet communication when you’re on a flight. We’ve all had seatmates who have loud calls and it’s simply not pleasant. Texting provides a quieter alternative.
Stay In Touch
One of the draws to texting while 35,000-feet above ground is the ability to stay in touch, whether it’s a spouse, a babysitter or a boss. They are all just a text away. Whether it’s just to say hello or in case of an emergency, in-flight texting can come in handy for many passengers.
Break Up Boredom
Texting can allow for passengers to pass the time and break up some of the monotony of flight travel all while keeping up on business or catching up with family and friends down below.
Access Is Easy, For Some
Passengers whose mobile carrier is T-Mobile have access to unlimited texting and one hour of free Gogo In-Flight Web access on all Gogo-equipped flights. In order to take advantage of these perks passengers must have a valid E911 address on file and a T-Mobile number. With devices, whether it’s an iPhone or ZTE ZMAX Pro, with their T-Mobile plan, passengers can take advantage of texting in the air.
Access Can Also Be Sparse
While access via T-Mobile may be quite simple, other carriers do have some catching up to do. Other text-enabled methods that are available today are can be costly. Gogo, for example, will cost passengers $49.95 a month, $7 for one hour of access or $19 for 24 hours of accessibility.
There Are Plenty Of Kinks To Work Out Still
A recent survey cited by American Airlines states that 66 percent of passengers consider in-flight Wi-Fi when choosing a flight. That’s exactly why they filed a suit against their Wi-Fi provider, citing that there were more reliable, faster and better services available and noting that the service could not be used when flying over oceans or traveling below 10,000 feet. And while there may be more in-the-now providers, these services have yet to be widely adopted, due to cost, reliability and the kinks that still need to be worked out.
Is In-Flight Texting Dangerous?
Contrary to popular belief, using your cellphone while on board a flight is not a serious danger. The Federal Aviation Administration stands behind its ban, which includes SMS texting and cell usage, citing potential interference with navigation and aircraft communication systems. But, many phones have been left on during countless flights and everything has turned out just fine. Experts say that the risk for danger is very small. The Wi-Fi enabled services that allow for in-flight texting are approved and tested to be safe, and are different than standard SMS texts.