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I'm taking a flight to Japan this summer and noticed that on United, they may have wifi but it says everywhere that no voice calls or video calls are permitted and strictly prohibited during flight. They don't say why, but out of curiosity why is that such a big deal?

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  • $\begingroup$ To be clear, are you asking specifically about calls over WiFi? $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Mar 14 '16 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ My feeling is that this questoin belongs to travel.SE (related to traveler issues). Aside from possible the technical reason (bandwidth limitations and latency due to satellites links), there can be commercial reasons (they may sell voice call services and want you to use them) $\endgroup$ – Manu H Mar 14 '16 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on Travel.se. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Mar 14 '16 at 3:54
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Voice/video calls have not been approved by the FAA, and no one is particularly interested in having them approved, due to the frustration it would cause amongst passengers, having to listen to a multitude of conversations in a confined space, throughout the flight. Not to mention the fact that it would clog the limited bandwidth if even a sizable chunk of the passengers wanted to do it.

Virgin comes right out and says it with something along the lines of "For the safety and comfort of our guests, VoIP and Video Chat is also prohibited".

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The FCC does not approve of cell use and airplanes. One of the reasons is it wreaks havoc on cell systems because of frequent cell changes.

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    $\begingroup$ The question is asking about Skype-style calls over the in-plane WiFi network, not about cellphone calls. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Mar 14 '16 at 1:59

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