With a little bit of technological smarts, you can probably figure out how to use an airline's WiFi to make voice or video calls.
But is that allowed?
Not on United, nor any other U.S. airline, at least to my knowledge. United reminded flight attendants recently that passengers cannot use apps like Skype or FaceTime in flight. We know not all passengers follow rules, and it seems United understands some passengers flout them.
"While our Wi-Fi systems are set up to block most of apps, new ones are occasionally being developed," the airline told flight attendants in an internal note. "Also, certain tech savvy customers can use their Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to access VoIP sites and apps."
United is asking flight attendants to be more vigilant. "If you encounter customers making voice calls while in flight, please remind them that it is against United’s policy," the airline said.
The website Road Warrior Voices, part of USA Today, recently compiled a list of most U.S. airline voice and video call policies. They are generally banned everywhere, but each airline put a slightly different spin on it. Virgin America, for example, not only blamed its policy on federal regulators, but also customer preference.
Have you ever seen someone try to make a call on a flight? How did the crew respond?
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