TravelMole reports that Ryanair now offers in-flight cell phone capabilities aboard 20 aircraft, with fleetwide service set to be available within 18 months. Ryanair joins Emirates and Malaysia Airlines in offering this service, though the AP notes that BMI operates a text-only program, and British Airways is considering something similar.
In-flight cell phone service might have a lot of appeal to business travelers, but among the folks in coach, my sense is few want cell-phone chatter added to the assortment of inconveniences already in place. It's bad enough to be crammed into a seat and charged $8 for an underwhelming sandwich, but worse when the person next to you is babbling into a cell phone. Or maybe that's just me?
Ryanair, for its part, is optimistic about the service. Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said he expects "demand for this service to grow rapidly and hope(s) that customers of all UK mobile operators will soon be able to call or text home from 30,000 feet."
We'll see. In the meantime, why don't you tell me what you think? Is in-flight cell phone service an amenity airlines should add? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.