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Virgin tries text Q&A for in-flight spunk

Darren Murph
August 9, 2006
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If you're in the 99+ percent of folks on non-WiFi-enabled flights, and are well aware that cellphone use while in-air is probably coming later rather than sooner, Virgin Atlantic is hoping to grab your attention. As airlines helplessly grasp at off-the-wall gimmicks to acquire more non-ticket sales and provide a more luxurious and exciting experience to the customer, Virgin seems to think it has a hit on its hands. The London-based company has stated its plans to introduce the "world's first in-flight texting service," that has nothing at all to do with SMS; rather, passengers will be able to text any fathomable question from their seat-back television screen to an existing "land-based text answer service" that supposedly will answer any queries "within minutes" -- not a bad feature to have if trying to brush on a language before arriving in a foreign country or scouting out the nearest Engadget reader meetup. The company has suggested interrogations could arise about popular entertainment in cities, how to survive jetlag, or cabin conversation starters. While there may be more thrilling ways to get to your destination, sometimes a good 'ole fashion plane ride is inevitable, but at least Virgin's Q&A game can help you ignore your boredom (or the awful in-flight movie) when flying the friendly skies.

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