In air conference call

By aangel | Jun 21, 2018, 03:08 PM
I have to participate in a conference call while I am travelling.

Im flying Bus Class on Ethiad and the call will happen while I am between AUH and CDG. There is a later flight leaving AUH 7 hours later, but Ethiad want A$1900 to change (just for that sector).

Someone suggested that I could use wifi and do the call via skype. (I wont have to say much, mainly listen)

Any suggestions or thoughts? Any potential issues with Skype?
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By henrus | Jun 21, 2018, 04:07 PM
I've tried Skype around 3 times on a plane and none of them have been very successful but it does work (I was trying video).

Speed will be an issue as will blocking. The later can be fixed by a VPN the former can not. Most provide block Skype including Panasonic wifi so you'll likely need a decent VPN to even get access to Skype.

Data on Etihad isn't cheap either:

$4.95 for 30MB (about 10 minutes of Skype)

$11.95 for 90MB (about 30 minutes of Skype)

$19.95 for 180MB (about 1 hours of Skype)


(assuming Skype uses ~3mb per minute)


I think it'll work however you'll need to be patient and possible reconnect several times. You should set up your laptop and test a vpn on the ground beforehand and disable updates etc as the 180mb data allowance could be gone in minutes.


If you can dial into the conference call by mobile then you'd have a much better experience however you'll need a Telstra/Optus postpaid service and be willing to pay $4 per minute on Optus or $5 on Telstra (quite expensive but a fraction of the $1900 change fee).

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By moa999 | Jun 21, 2018, 06:29 PM
I'd think Skype use is below 1MB per min for most audio codec.

Best would be using a VOIP server located near your VPN server
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By rob01 | Jun 21, 2018, 06:44 PM
If you don't have to say much perhaps have someone record the call and listen afterwards. Passengers near you may not want to listen to you trying to be heard on a conference call, on the other hand maybe they do if you are discussing commercially sensitive information. I know we are actively discouraged from taking conference calls in public places like airport lounges without being very careful.
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By xtfer | Jun 21, 2018, 06:58 PM
I would give up on this idea now. The chance of it working is slim, and if it does it will be very expensive. I routinely work in business over wifi, and the speed can vary greatly as the plane moves about. Fast one moment, non-existent the next.
Last edited by xtfer at Jun 21, 2018, 06.59 PM.
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By henrus | Jun 21, 2018, 07:25 PM
I'd think Skype use is below 1MB per min for most audio codec.

Best would be using a VOIP server located near your VPN server

I thought it was 1mb per minute as well but google suggests otherwise. Apparently, Skype to Skype (including group calls) uses more whilst Skype Out (calling landlines/mobiles) uses around 1mb.

Great suggestion about the VOIP server. It's hard unless you can find the exact details but a VPN that terminates where the satellite connects would make it even better. I'm not sure about Etihad but Singapore Airlines A350's satellite traffic comes from Los Angeles whilst Virgin Australia's 737 wifi comes from Optus' Sydney teleport.

If your taking an earlier sector to AUH then some tests could also be quite helpful and tweaks on the ground could make the performance better for next leg of the journey.
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By daniesut | Jun 21, 2018, 08:32 PM

I admit I have done it on SQ flights...as long as you are more a listener than talking you should be OK as one of the previous posts mention -


key is to try and use a satellite friendly method to connect, Skype for Business is not too good, or Arkadin, webex, etc - something like Bluejeans if your company use it, or similar that optimize for higher latency connections, otherwise forget it....


I don't get the whole "people around you not wanting to listen to you and might get annoyed", if a couple sitting next to each other, or 2 colleagues have a discussion on a flight, how different is that to you talking into a phone........

Last edited by daniesut at Jun 21, 2018, 08.35 PM.
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By aggie57 | Jun 21, 2018, 11:00 PM

I admit I have done it on SQ flights...as long as you are more a listener than talking you should be OK as one of the previous posts mention -


key is to try and use a satellite friendly method to connect, Skype for Business is not too good, or Arkadin, webex, etc - something like Bluejeans if your company use it, or similar that optimize for higher latency connections, otherwise forget it....


I don't get the whole "people around you not wanting to listen to you and might get annoyed", if a couple sitting next to each other, or 2 colleagues have a discussion on a flight, how different is that to you talking into a phone........

Last edited by daniesut at Jun 21, 2018, 08.35 PM.

I think it’s because we tend to speak louder when on the phone. There’s sure to be some research about that.

Good point about the latency. We use Skype for business, it can be tricky on low bandwidth connections. For conference calls GoToMeeting is more reliable.
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By Joffie | Jun 22, 2018, 03:21 PM
You should give up on it. You'll be showing your fellow passengers the respect they deserve by not yabbering on your phone. We don't want to hear you. A plane is transport for all of us, not your office.
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tessacate

By mushmush | Jun 22, 2018, 06:07 PM
Personally i enjoy and look forward to the quiet when i travel to Singapore. Those 7 hours of watching movies and just enjoying the downtime makes travelling all the much better. Once we did have someone on SQ on a call, after 25min of hearing his jabbering that many fellow travellers complained that the cabin manager came and had a word with him. 1 minute later it stopped much to everyones relief. I believe its true that people raise their voice when speaking on a phone. Don't get me started about the ones who insist on using the speakerphone option.
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By Frank | Jun 22, 2018, 08:44 PM
You’re kidding aren’t you?..
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By Doubleplatinum | Jun 23, 2018, 03:17 PM
I can't believe you are even considering this, selfishness at its worst.
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Frank

By daniesut | Jun 23, 2018, 04:55 PM
How is talking on a mobile on a plane, any different to a bus, train, subway, or even walking down the street? - its 2018, it was only a technology limitation up to not so long ago, so it was always going to happen, the sooner it gets better quality and cost, the better....embrace it....planes are not that quite to start with, if someone talking of the groan of the engines, clacker of the galley, is ennoying I think your getting somewhat precious...
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By ratrace | Jun 24, 2018, 12:45 PM
You could dial in, keep yourself on mute and just type to the recipients (Skype for business you can do this) instead of raising your voice and unnecessarily distubring other passengers.

My personal view is that it is a bit rude to actively partake in a conference call in the air unless you are in a 1st class suite arrangement which is a bit more private. Information security is also a risk.


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jubsie

By Doubleplatinum | Jun 24, 2018, 03:46 PM
How is talking on a mobile on a plane, any different to a bus, train, subway, or even walking down the street? - its 2018, it was only a technology limitation up to not so long ago, so it was always going to happen, the sooner it gets better quality and cost, the better....embrace it....planes are not that quite to start with, if someone talking of the groan of the engines, clacker of the galley, is ennoying I think your getting somewhat precious...

It's common sense really just basic decency and respect, for most people it factors into their decisions and actions.
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By EdS | Jun 27, 2018, 03:31 PM
As one commentator pointed out, it's not the call but lound talking. people with earphones cannot hear thenmselves speak so they talk lounder. Please consider your fellow passengers.
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