Posted by: MummyTravels | May 14, 2012

I’m on the plane…

Up there on my list of travel essentials (whether I’m going 10 minutes or 10 hours) is my BlackBerry. After all, how else could I keep up with every last event and occurrence, update everyone I know on where I am and what I’m doing, and generally amuse myself if I’m delayed for more than 10 seconds at a time. It’s not news to me that I’m something of an email/Twitter/Facebook addict – but there’s moments when even I like to switch off. Or at least be switched off (so I’m not forced to exercise actual willpower).

Once was in a remote Welsh cottage in December, as signal faded, there was no wifi and I had a blissful weekend enjoying the snowy scenery and reading books. And another place is on planes. There’s no guilt that I might be missing something – after all, you’re actively prohibited from turning them on. No-one can ring, there’s no emails to reply to, no Twitter feed to frenetically follow. I can happily watch bad movies, catch up on magazines, nap or even do some actual work if I’m feeling virtuous.

Well, it was obviously too good to last. Much as I love Virgin Atlantic, they’ve opened the floodgates, with the news that passengers will be allowed to use mobile phones on board to make calls, use the internet and for text messages. Take-off and landing will both still be excluded though.

And by the end of the year, it’s expected to be available in all cabins on nearly 20 of the airline’s new Airbus A330s between London and New York, for customers using 02 or Vodafone.

Quite apart for the international roaming charges it’ll cost, it feels like my last phone-free sanctuary is almost gone. No more cast-iron excuses for why I missed the call/email, and plenty of people wittering all the way across the Atlantic. Hey, it’s me, I’m on the plane…


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