No VoIP blocking on Virgin America beta; VoIP holes on AA.


Joining American Airlines, Virgin America has demoed its in-flight Gogo broadband service. Official policy for Virgin Airlines is to block VoIP parts, but, rather than just let sleeping dogs lie, it seems to be a rite of passage for tech media wonks to demo work-around as they write about their experiences.

Flying aboard a beta charter flight over San Francisco, Gizmodo's Brian Lam was able to fire up a "really solid" iChat video session that he expects Virgin to filter on "real flights." Lam also notes most airlines are blocking known VoIP ports "For our sanity."

Meanwhile, another Gizmodo post reporting conditions on Gogo reports that video chat was accessible on a West Coast American Airlines flight. About the only thing that Jalopnik editor Wes Siler couldn't get going is a video chat session using iChat (hmm, do you spot the pattern here?) with voice chat he said "worked all too well." A follow-up comment suggests Siler may now be on the TSA blacklist for his actions.

FierceVoIP has previously reported remarks by Aircell CEO Jack Blumenstein -- Gogo's parent company -- if passengers are found using voice capabilities on Aircell's service, "we can exercise the right to turn your access off." And that's in addition to what American Airlines might do violators of the clearly stated policy against VoIP use on their flights.

For more:
- Gizmodo shows that, at least in demo phase, you can do a Video iChat. Blog
- They also show a VoIP session on Nov 19 on an American Airlines flight from LA to NY. Blog.

Related articles
Fighting for VoIP-free skies, part 2 - FierceVoIP
Air VoIP or Not? - FierceVoIP