Ryanair launches inflight phone calls today

lady on plane

Ryanair, the wacky budget airline that offers intra-European flights at rock-bottom prices, today began offering inflight phone calls, text messaging, and Blackberry use. The service, dubbed “OnAir,” comes at a hefty price.

“OnAir” will first be offered on 20 of its airplanes, although Ryanair expects to roll it out to all 170 aircraft within the next 18 months. Interestingly, only six passengers will be able to call at once. (We haven’t been able to determine how many will be able to use their Blackberry’s.)

The cost?

Calls will run between €2.00 and €3.00 per minute, text messages €0.50, and email “sessions” are priced between €1.00 and €1.50. Hardly cheapo territory.

What do you think?

Do you think this truly is a step forward in aviation history? Is it really any different from the in-flight phone service that was largely ignored for years (remember those phones tucked above your tray?).

If this does catch on, are we headed toward a future of cellphone shouters, screaming ever louder to get through over the hum of the engines? Or does this really represented a step forward for business travelers, and those who just want to chat from 30,000 feet?

Would you use this service? Tell us what you think below.

Read more about the phone service on Ryanair.com.

About the author

Tom Meyers
About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]
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Cheapo Comments

6 Responses to “Ryanair launches inflight phone calls today”
  • James says:

    I enjoy the little pocket of time where all mobile phones are turned off. No doubt other airlines will be adding mobile service if they think they can make some money out of it.

  • Beijinger says:

    Hi!
    Yes. I would use the service, because it is cheap and convenient to use the inflight. so I think that it is a good recommendation to travelers .Nice post

  • John says:

    The number of phones using text services will not be limited to 6, so I guess that means Blackberry use will not be limited. It all keeps the cost of flying down with Mick’s airline so it will benefit more people than it annoys.
    PS The seats in your photograph are way to comfortable to be on a Ryanair flight.

  • Chris Franco says:

    I think this is a pretty cool idea. I’d like an explanation as to how cell phone signals will affect air traffic controls ability to communicate with the pilots.

    @Jess: great point!

  • [...] Airline news | Can you believe that RyanAir is considering charging passengers for in-flight use of the bathroom? Actually, we should be so surprised since they charge for everything else, and can we really complain, considering their flights are so cheap? After all, RyanAir flights in Europe are usually so short that maybe we can “just hold it”. At least the cost will be cheaper than making an in-flight phone call. [...]

  • annie says:

    I’ve flown for as little at 50 cents on Ryan air, so I suppose a $2-minute phone call would hardly be breaking my budget. Cool idea. Especially during bad weather when you spend more time on the runway than in the air, with no way to alert anyone.

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