As you may have heard by now, Verizon will end its Verizon Airfone service by the end of this year.
The popular explanation for this decision is that with Airfone service so expensive (up to 69 cents a minute for Verizon Wireless customers, or $4.99 a minute plus a $3.99 connection fee for non Verizon Customers), airline passengers will simply wait until they hit the tarmac or approach the gate to whip our their cell phones.
True, but there is another reason why Airfone is being put out to pasture. A reason I am amazed that no one has pointed out yet.
Two words: chartered jet.
If you are important enough that you absolutely have to be in touch with your office, clients, etc., during your flight, you are probably important enough to ride in a private jet. You don't have to own one, just have access to one- via clients, business partners, your company or trade association, etc. Or by renting one yourself if, say the negotiations for the deal you are trying to strike is all that mission-critical.
A chartered jet that already has in-flight phone service.
For everyone else, well, I guess we'll just have to wait (sigh) until we feel the wheels hit the ground (yay).