Really interesting to see a report on Reuters over the weekend noting that the world's airlines (at least, the ones still flying, that is) are happy with punters to surf the Net and use email on their laptops whilst in the air, but are planning to block Internet telephony.
It seems that Gogo, the in-flight Internet service from American Airlines (and Aircell, its supplier), has put barriers in place to stop punters from using Skype and other mainstream VOIP services.
As I've pointed out before, however, it shouldn't be a major problem for savvy computer users to by-pass these restrictions and make VOIP calls whilst up in the air.
Having said that, punters aren't allowed to use their mobiles in the air either and it is an arrestable offence to use a cellular handset in the cabin.
My best guess is that some punters will by-pass the anti-VOIP technology and surreptitiously start talking whilst in-flight using Internet telephony.
And I suspect that the airline staff will soon put to a stop to such fun and games.
But, of course, there's nothing to stop Netters using a voice-to-text and text-to-voice system like the RNID offer their hearing-impaired users of the phone.
And the airlines will no doubt charge for such a service.
Mind you, I also suspect that savvy Netters will start using instant messaging in its place. But that another story entirely...