Virgin Launches In-Flight Cell Use

    A British Airways and a Virgin Atlantic planes are pictured at London's Heathrow airport, on February 13, 2009. As many as 600 jobs are at risk at Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic, it was revealed Thursday February 12, 2009. The airline said it was "currently consulting with staff about the possibility of up to 600 redundancies across the business". While British Airways on Friday February 6, 2009 reported a net loss in the first nine months of its 2008-2009 financial year due to the weak pound and the global economic crisis and signalled it would slash costs. BA said it suffered a net loss of 127 million pounds (186 million dollars, 146 million euros) in the nine months to December 31, 2008, compared with profit of 642 million pounds in the same period of the previous fiscal year. AFP PHOTO/Max Nash (Photo credit should read MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images)

    Max Nash, AFP / Getty Images

    Call it the new mile-high club. Virgin Atlantic announced Monday that it will soon allow passengers to make in-flight calls, send and receive text messages, and surf the Internet on its A330 Airbus flights between New York and London. The airline says it expects the service will be available on 20 planes by the end of 2012, but the privilege of playing Words With Friends in-flight comes at a high price. The airline will charge roughly $1.20 per minute for the service, and only six passengers will be allowed to make calls at once. Cellphone use will still be prohibited during takeoffs and landings. The service is currently available on British Airways and several other Middle Eastern airlines.

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