back to article Delta aims Wi-Fi at American planes

Despite a champion effort to nickel and dime its way to profitability, Delta Airlines knows there's still some loose money in customers' pockets to be won. The US carrier sees its passengers clinging so dearly to laptops in their alloted 30 inches of space — and today vows swift action to extract yet another fee. Delta said …


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  1. Fatman

    Does that include VoIP?


  2. Austin Modine (Written by Reg staff)


    Nah, voice services aren't allowed due to federal regulations. It will likely be the same deal for any US airline that picks up in-flight Wi-Fi.

  3. Rich

    Voice packets are special

    And interfere with aircraft systems, obviously.

    The price is quite reasonable (at least for those expensing it). I suspect it'll be a shared 9600 baud modem for the whole plane, though.

  4. Mike Richards

    Kudos to Delta

    That will make it the best of the American carriers that bother to fly the Atlantic. Of course by 'best' I mean in the sense that scrofula is the best skin infection you can contract.

  5. CraigE

    Federal regulations?

    I thought the regulations about interference from mobile phone transmitters etc, not the actual act of calling someone from the sky. Why would VoIP be blocked?

  6. Frank

    @Anyone re. voice

    "..but voice services will be barred due to federal regulations."

    Were these regulations first brought in to prevent people with mobile phones from 'interfering with vital aircraft systems' or is it some kind of strange voice-comms protectionist measure involving turf-wars and special interests?

    If the first case, it's a ridiculous limitation for an aircraft data link. If the second case, the same.

    Can anyone give advice on this?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you read el Reg you will know that 'federal regs' means "don't piss off your fellow passengers with your incesant blabbering". Instead just scream at your laptop when you loose connectiviity and threaten to "throw the fcuker out the window" - beats doing it at 30000 feet rather than the usual 3rd floor.

  8. The BigYin

    If you are...

    ...sad enough to need a network connection for the few hours you are flying, then you deserve to get fleeced. Or are these "captains of industry" hiring underlings so incompetent that they can't cope on their own for a few hours?

  9. Nicholas Ettel

    The FAA regulations of cellular communications is garbage

    Typical aircraft operation frequencies, while operating overland are in the ~110-400 MHz UHF and VHF bands; over oceans, they switch to (near-)worldwide HF bands in the range of ~2800-22,000 KHz. Sometimes, SATCOMMS are used as well.

    Typical cell phone frequencies operate somewhere between ~800-2000 MHz spectrum, obviously depending on your carrier and phone.

    The FAA's excuse about interference with vital aircraft communication systems is BS. The fact of the matter, is that cell phones were not designed to travel passed terrestrial towers as fast as a plane flies, and therein lies the interference problem... a cell phone's POSSIBLE intereference with internal aircraft comms is a remote possibility and very, very poorly documented. So, instead doing the research and giving a proper answer, the FAA decided it would just be best to ban them all together.

  10. fins gd


    Tunnel out to your OpenVPN service, and VOIP away!...

  11. Bruce Cook

    I can see it now...

    LAN PARTY IN THE SKY!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Greg Bromage

    Does that mean.....

    ....that QueenOfSky will be allowed to update her blog on the flights? :-D

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