British Airways announced this week that it would initiate limited cell phone use on an upcoming route between London and New York City. Voice calls will not be permitted, but passengers will be allowed to send and receive text messages and e-mails.
The airline will limit the service to twice-daily flights between London City Airport and New York's JFK that are due to start in September. The all-business class route is flown by a narrow-body Airbus A318 aircraft that must make a stop in Ireland on the westbound leg. The configuration will allow for just 32 seats.
British Airways didn't disclose pricing for the service, but we wouldn't be surprised if it was included in the price of the business-class ticket. Though avoiding the trek to Heathrow may attract busy financial titans shuttling between The City and Wall Street, the price of a ticket is not expected to be cheap.
Other airlines have experimented with in-flight cell phone use, including Ryanair, Qantas, Air France, and Emirates. Only Emirates allows voice calls onboard, but other airlines, British Airways included, say they might permit in-flight talking, depending on passenger feedback.