I never managed to fly on a plane equipped with Boeing's ill-fated Connexion WiFi service before they shut it down. But there's a new airborne wireless service emerging now - Aircell. This is being rolled out in the US, providing in-flight WiFi access.
And despite the supposed VoIP-blocking mechanisms, my friend Andy Abramson has cunningly found a workaround.
At one level I really don't like the idea of on-flight cellular/WiFi voice. There's enough noise on planes from screaming kids and tedious announcements about duty-free goods. But I certainly applaud another success against the ridiculous packet inspectors and their heavy-handed nannying at an application-by-application level.
Aircell should forget about blocking applications, and instead use their application-aware boxes to scrutinise what their customers want to use. And then improve and tailor the service to meet those needs.
Andy's idea to use Flash Audio makes a hige amount of sense. And I can think of at least two other ways in which VoIP could be disguised to get past censors like Aircell's.