More Airlines Allowing Inflight Phone Calls

May 6, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. team up (idiom) [teem] [uhp] – to work together with another person or group
Example: Businessmen and politicians must team up to solve the country’s economic problems.
2. portable (adj.) [pawr-tuh-buhl] – something that can easily be moved, transported or carried, usually by hand
Example: It is very convenient to have portable gadgets when travelling.
3. activate (v.) [ak-tuh-veyt] – to cause something to function or be active
Example: You need to activate the machine to make it work.

4. rely (v.) [ri-lahy] – to depend on someone or something
Example: Because I am still a student, I rely on my parents for financial support.

Read the text below.

Voice calls may soon be available in every flight as more airlines team up inflight communication solution providers to allow passengers to make phone calls in the air.

Some airlines, like British and Qatar Airways, still limit communication only through text and email. But a number of airlines including Air New Zealand, Malaysia Airlines, and TAP Air Portugal  are already using technology that allows both voice and text communication on particular flights.

Companies, like OnAir and Aeromobile, use picocell technology to enable safe communication through mobile phones, laptops and other portable devices. In addition, these companies provide airlines with an option to activate both text communication and voice calls during a flight.

In contrary, in-flight voice calling has been a controversial issue in America. In fact, US lawmakers are seeking to ban it.

Meanwhile, some airline companies are still undecided on whether to adopt such technology or not. They said that their decision would mostly rely on the feedbacks of their passengers.

As of today, major airlines Lufthansa, Qantas, SAS, and TAM (Brazil) have signed contracts with different inflight communication solution providers to avail of the said service.  

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         What do you think are the risks of in-flight voice calls during flights?
·         What are the advantages of allowing voice calls during a flight?

Discussion B

·         What are the some of the dangers passengers face when travelling by plane?
·         What are ways airlines can ensure the passengers’ safety?

May 6, 2011