Gogo plans to release an app that lets travelers call and text during flights

Those who travel frequently know the woes that come from flying 35,000 feet in the air. While some airlines provide in-flight internet and other communication services, travelers are often faced with the consequence of not being able to receive calls or text during their flight. In-flight internet company 'Gogo' may soon have the answer: they plan to launch an app which allows you to make calls and even text while in the air.

Gogo first debuted their app at SXSW 2014, where they took reporters on a private jet flight to test it out. Reactions were mixed, with WSJ reporter Geoffrey Fowler describing the quality of the call as "garbled" at times, and USA Today columnist Edward Baig calling it "surprisingly decent". All agreed that the app has potential - especially on U.S commercial flights, whose passengers tend to suffer the lack of communication capability.

Gogo currently provides in-flight broadband internet service to major commercial airlines, including Delta, Virgin America and Frontier Airlines. Their new app could further expand their reach in the connectivity services industry, especially in such a niche market as airplane travel.

Since a bill prohibiting in-flight calls is currently making its way through congress, American customers may not be able to experience the in-flight calling portion of the app, but they can certainly look forward to sending and receiving texts.

Source: TechCrunchImage via TechCrunch

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9 Comments

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On a business route I don't see any problem, but coming into Heathrow from any sunny holiday resort you can guarantee it'll be either grandma on the phone trying to get a taxi company to pick her up from the airport at 80 decibels or it'll be teens on the phone to every person they know (and some they don't) talking about how much they've tanned their white bits.

No thanks. Many of us love the break from phones and relative peace of a flight.

I disagree with most of the comments here, I think it should be allowed, it becomes a different story if someone being very rude and load on the phone, just allow them to take away the phone till the end of the flight if that happens. but talking on the phone is no different then talking to someone next to you, I find it silly that people think everyone is going to be yelling as load as they can just because there on a phone. there might be one once in a while, but its not always going to be like that. and frankly most people who you would be worried about yelling are kids who almost always text.

Frankly if there any bill that should pass about air travel its the min specs for seating, I'm not a large man by any stretch of the imagination, but being 6 foot 1, and having fairly large shoulders I can barley fit in the seats, my shoulders do stick out, and bug people next to me. I cant imagine how it is for someone whose 6 foot 5,

1. Good luck getting a grown adult to hand over their cell phone because they were talking to loudly. It's hard to do this even in high schools.
2. Talking on the phone *IS* different. See http://healthland.time.com/201...versations-are-so-annoying/
3. Most people STFU on the airplane because they are surrounded by strangers and don't want to talk to them. If everyone is talking on the phone, imagine the din. Flying coach is already bad enough with the discomfort of cramped seats and people f---ing around with their stupid carry-on monstrosities.

Uggh. No thanks please. Flying is a bad enough experience, we don't need something else to stress us out.
And it's one of the few quiet moments left to us.

Pass the bill already! Calls on flights? No, just no. Silently text all you want but no yammering all the time while seated within earshot.

Romero said,
Pass the bill already! Calls on flights? No, just no. Silently text all you want but no yammering all the time while seated within earshot.

Yeah crying babies are bad enough. Now you'll have to endure the yelling at the spouse over the phone while they argue about the pending divorce...

Romero said,
Pass the bill already! Calls on flights? No, just no. Silently text all you want but no yammering all the time while seated within earshot.

My theory on calls in flight: if they allow it they had better be prepared for me to swear loudly like a drunken sailor next to any asshat on the phone.

Nogib said,
My theory on calls in flight: if they allow it they had better be prepared for me to swear loudly like a drunken sailor next to any asshat on the phone.
Yep, I fully expect both stress and anger levels to increase if calls are allowed and there's a high likelihood of altercations which would be bad for everyone - passengers, crew and airlines. Crying babies are a pain but can be excused because, well, they can't help themselves, but this would no doubt really push the boundaries of most people's politeness and tolerance.

Also, even if this bill passes what about voice/video chats over the internet? I don't see how those would be any different or less annoying, so hope the bill covers them as well.

Edited by Romero, Mar 12 2014, 2:44am :