A more basic ATG service supplied by JetBlue Airways subsidiary LiveTV is being rolled out by the low-cost carrier. Other operators, including Alaska and Southwest Airlines, have turned to Row 44 for a Ku-band-based satellite service that will support broadband connectivity in-flight.
For those travellers in the USA who simply must have access to their mobile phone’s voicemail messages, a solution is available. Technology firm SpinVox, which captures spoken messages and converts them into text, is now targeting US travellers. With SpinVox, passengers can continue to receive their voice messages via email in a data-only environment and respond via email while in the air, or by voice and SMS text once on the ground.
“This can be a lifesaver as voicemail messages have a half-life of 30 minutes or less and 98% of all domestic flights are an hour or more, gate-to-gate,” says Richard Stern, senior vice-president and general manager of SpinVox’s growth telecom unit.
Despite the ever-growing roster of mobility services being made available to airline passengers, BA’s Carmichael cautions that this is “still very, very early days” and that the mobile channel is likely to change rapidly. “I often remind people what the web experience was like bank in 1999and 2000….l expect the whole customer expectation and customer experience to be very different in the next few years.” He says.