We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

BMI trials SMS during flights

Passengers can't make mobile phone calls

BMI has announced its letting passengers use their mobile phones on flights, but only to text.

Passengers on BMI's Heathrow to Moscow service will be able to make use of technology from OnAir that allows them to use their handset to send text messages during a flight. Owners of laptops with mobile broadband sims installed will also be able to access the web during the flight. BMI is one of a number are airlines that are trialling mobile phone services during flights.

Previously, mobile phones were been banned on airlines because it was thought the signal from handset interfered with the aircraft's instrumentation. However, new technology that allows a transmitter to be installed at the back of the aircraft will connect with the mobile phones using a lower strength signal that will not affect the craft's instruments. It was approved by the European Commission in April this year.

Visit Mobile Advisor for the latest mobile phone news, reviews, tips & tricks, as well as PC Advisor's unique Apple iPhone 3G Spotlight

BMI has said it will roll-out the service across its fleet, if the trial proves successful.

"We have chosen not to implement the voice call option as part of the trial," said Peter Spencer, managing director of BMI.

"The trial will help us address some of the social and etiquette issues regarding the use of mobile communications devices inflight and provide valuable customer feedback which will be at the heart of deciding how the service is developed and rolled out across the remainder of our mid haul fleet."

Charges are dependant on mobile phone operator and are not subject to a cap on roaming charges, which has been proposed by the European Commission.

See also: Ryanair installs mobile phone technology on aircraft

IDG UK Sites

Acer Aspire R11 review: Hands-on with the 360 laptop and tablet convertible

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch release day: Twitter reacts

IDG UK Sites

See how Framestore created a shape-shifting, oil and metal based creature for Shell

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch buying guide, price list & where to buy today: Which Apple Watch model, size, material,?......