Of course we are used to all the controversy VoIP is causing on the ground. From naysayers that will tell you the quality is bad to others that will say it is a management headache and government regulators who tell us it isn’t secure enough. A new, vibrant and growing industry can get used to such things. But get prepared for the latest discussion — VoIP in the sky. You heard that right… United Airlines has just announced they have been approved to allow internet access on their planes. This is the first domestic carrier to get this privilege.
We are a year away from deployment and no doubt VoIP will be a major reason people will use this service. Of course having dozens of people chattering on a flight is going to annoy other passengers. This is exactly what has happened on the trains here in the NYC area.
In fact you are supposed to get up and walk away from people on the train if you are on the phone. Where do you go on a flight? The bathroom? Most planes don’t heave enough space for people in the bathroom and now we can expect to see lines forming outside restrooms as corporate executives hold confidential conference calls inside.
But what really gets me is that for years the FAA and flight attendants have been telling us to turn off all our electronic equipment on flights during take off and landing. Our wireless devices especially need to be turned off the whole flight. Now airlines are going to provide in-flight WiFi. Will ironies never cease? Next we’re all going to get complimentary nail clippers in our snack bags.