Airfone's days are numbered...

 
Old Jun 2, 06, 5:32 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Too many
Programs: Lots
Posts: 5,751
Airfone's days are numbered...

For those of you who enjoy the airfone service on United, bad news:

JetBlue wins air-ground wireless license

From the article:

The current user of the airwaves, Verizon Communications' Airfone unit, dropped out early in the auction that started on May 10. After the licenses are issued, Verizon must limit operations and then in May 2010 give up the airwaves.
I really dont like this development. It is very nice to have the ability to make calls when absolutely necessary while in air. Knowing United's progress in the wifi arena, it's not like we can expect to have VOIP/Connexion as an alternative
Axey is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 5:39 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: all over
Programs: EK Gold - SWA A+/CP - SPG Plat - Fairmont Premier - AA EXP
Posts: 1,955
I actually use the airfone as of late. With 10 bucks a month and 10c a minute which all goes to my verizone wireless bill it is reasonable to use. I also get to use my cellphone number. Before they came up with it i never touched the phone but since they made it reasonable I have used it.
ajthegreat is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 6:10 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SAN
Programs: UA 1P /Starwood Gold/Hyatt Plat/UA RCC
Posts: 1,535
This is not good. I hope UA makes a deal to keep the phones.
carl92103 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 8:48 pm
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ravens Country
Programs: UA-1K, Marriott-Gold, SPG-Gold, IC RA/Plat, Amtrak Select
Posts: 3,887
Originally Posted by InDiAnBoY821
: With 10 bucks a month and 10c a minute which all goes to my verizone wireless bill it is reasonable to use. I also get to use my cellphone number. Before they came up with it i never touched the phone but since they made it reasonable I have used it.

I do the same thing it makes the airplane like an office for me. The good news this does not go into play untill 2010 and hopefully by then a deal will be worked out.
Benny8444 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 8:59 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1MM, Delta Plat
Posts: 11,224
I have never usedthe airfone, and probably never will. On my flight today, I saw two people uing it the entire duration of the flight. I haven't seen them used for a long time.
redbeard911 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 9:04 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: MUC/LAX/SMV
Programs: LH, UA, BD, AA, NW, FB, NH, AC, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, *W, HH, Marriott, PC, Leaders Club, AMEX
Posts: 12,407
So what about UA's "bold" plan to use the Verizon Airfone bandwidth as a carrier for their planned wireless broadband Internet access on-board domestic flights? Scrapped? Dead in the water?
flysurfer is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 9:30 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SAN
Programs: UA 1P /Starwood Gold/Hyatt Plat/UA RCC
Posts: 1,535
These phones are invaluable when your in the middle of an important business deal. I was actually in the process of changing from Sprint to Verizon to get the discounted rate. Is it definite they are removing the phones?
carl92103 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 10:57 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SAN, IAD, BOS
Programs: UA 1K, US SP, HH Diam, Hyatt Plat, Avis First, *W Gold
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by carl92103
These phones are invaluable when your in the middle of an important business deal. I was actually in the process of changing from Sprint to Verizon to get the discounted rate. Is it definite they are removing the phones?
I don't know, and I wish they wouldn't. For about seven years or so, the rates translated as "hurt me plenty". The advent of bundled Verizon service was the first sign of reality for rates for Airfone. I've made about three calls during those years, and given all of my OTHER flights, I really wish I would have had back the space under my US/UA F seat to put a laptop; Airfone stole that from me with their lumpy grey box.

I honestly don't know how they managed to screw up their rate structure that badly, when friends with wealth dripping off their fingertips would say "it can wait until we land." Those friends should have been the ones sucked in by teaser rates. I guess Airfone's market was people paying for international F rather than domestic C. Works on some routes, but definitely not on US/HP....
NextStopTermC is offline  
Old Jun 2, 06, 11:44 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: San Diego
Programs: Fly UA MM 1K & WN A-List, Sleep Marriott Gold & IHG Plat, Hertzer. Future FT Fantasy Football Champ
Posts: 11,120
Heck, I didn't know that they had dropped the rates so low ($10 + $.10). It was still $20/call last time I touched the phone. I may connect the service through an old Verizon cell phone line that my mother uses. It's worth $10/month to have the phone available. Are the rates the same for international flights?
TravelManKen is offline  
Old Jun 3, 06, 12:09 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: all over
Programs: EK Gold - SWA A+/CP - SPG Plat - Fairmont Premier - AA EXP
Posts: 1,955
Originally Posted by TravelManKen
Heck, I didn't know that they had dropped the rates so low ($10 + $.10). It was still $20/call last time I touched the phone. I may connect the service through an old Verizon cell phone line that my mother uses. It's worth $10/month to have the phone available. Are the rates the same for international flights?
nope completely different for international calls.
ajthegreat is offline  
Old Jun 3, 06, 12:15 am
  #11  
cpx
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 99654
Programs: Many
Posts: 6,448
This may be a good thing.

It may mean the end of Airfon, but it may make the way for internet
and may be VoIP phone service in the aircrafts through a different
provider.
cpx is offline  
Old Jun 3, 06, 12:22 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: MUC/LAX/SMV
Programs: LH, UA, BD, AA, NW, FB, NH, AC, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, *W, HH, Marriott, PC, Leaders Club, AMEX
Posts: 12,407
Originally Posted by cpx
It may mean the end of Airfon, but it may make the way for internet
and may be VoIP phone service in the aircrafts through a different
provider.
I'm not holding my breath.

Since May 2004, 90-95% of my longhaul business goes to airlines that have it NOW. Today, there's a decent choice of carriers. More to come. See http://www.connexionbyboeing.com/ind...ilable&lang=en

Wake me when UA has it, too.
flysurfer is offline  
Old Jun 3, 06, 12:34 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 579
Getting rid of the phones saves weight which reduces fuel consumption.
ILUV767 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 06, 12:40 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: MUC/LAX/SMV
Programs: LH, UA, BD, AA, NW, FB, NH, AC, Sixt, Hertz, Avis, *W, HH, Marriott, PC, Leaders Club, AMEX
Posts: 12,407
Originally Posted by ILUV767
Getting rid of the phones saves weight which reduces fuel consumption.
So does getting rid of pax. Nonrevs, that is.

Getting rid of seats, food (oops, already done), beverages (RAR!), magazines, amenity kits, blankets, milk and pillows will certainly improve the bottom line, as well.
flysurfer is offline  
Old Jun 3, 06, 12:45 am
  #15  
cpx
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 99654
Programs: Many
Posts: 6,448
Originally Posted by flysurfer
I'm not holding my breath.

Since May 2004, 90-95% of my longhaul business goes to airlines that have it NOW. Today, there's a decent choice of carriers. More to come. See http://www.connexionbyboeing.com/ind...ilable&lang=en

Wake me when UA has it, too.
I'm not holding my breath either, but something better has to show up
since the demand and trend is going that way.
cpx is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: