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High Tech Improvements At Malaysia Airlines

Say hello at cruising altitude

eTN Staff Writer  Apr 23, 2010

Safely use your mobile phones on planes as Malaysia Airlines partners with Malaysian-based Maxis Communications Berhad and UK-based AeroMobile Limited offering Maxis post-paid customers in-flight mobile services such as voice calls, SMS, emails, and GPRS services on board the Boeing 777-200 aircraft across Europe, Australia, and the Asian region including China and Japan.

To ensure the non-interference with both aircraft systems and ground-based mobile communications systems, the in-flight mobile system installed on Malaysia Airlines’ aircrafts has been specifically designed to allow the safe use of dual-band, tri-band, and quad-band GSM mobile phones, including Blackberry®-type devices.

Enriching the communications experience, passengers can make and receive voice calls at RM15 per minute or send or receive data at RM100 per MB. SMSes sent are charged at RM3 per SMS; while receiving SMSes are free of charge. Blackberry users are advised to switch off the device when not in active use in order to avoid inadvertent charges.

These rates are comparable to rates charged globally for this service. No special subscription is needed for the in-flight mobiles services. However, travelers should ensure that their international roaming services have been activated beforehand. It is anticipated that as the service develops, rates will progressively decrease.

Maxis post-paid customers will be billed on their regular monthly phone bills as with any other international roaming call. To avoid inconveniencing others on board, passengers will be requested to switch their phones to silent mode and to abide by the usage guidelines and etiquette rules provided to them.

Accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) for its operational safety practices, Malaysia Airlines has established a strong reputation in the aviation industry for service and safety. As calls and text messages are made and received through the use of a Picocell, a small base station on the aircraft, passengers can safely use their phones worry free shortly after take-off once it has been announced that mobile phone usage is now permissible.

The phone service is disabled during take-off and landing while the system automatically switches off at 20,000 feet as the aircraft begins its descent. This falls in line with the current rules on using laptop computers or music players on flights.

To learn more about Malaysia Airlines’ in-flight mobile services, visit Malaysia’s premier mobile telecommunications operator at .


Considering the frequent necessity for simple changes to itinerary details, Malaysia Airlines’ new “Manage My Booking” feature enables passengers to adjust their travel date, time, and booking class by themselves - an alternative to the 24-hour call center option.

Kick starting this feature with passengers traveling on domestic, Singapore, and Brunei routes, it is currently only available to tickets purchased online via Malaysia Airlines’ web site. Some alterations may require a change fee and/or a fare difference charge. Added convenience to email family and friends or print travel itineraries are also available.

Plans are afoot to offer this feature to more destinations in the near future. Register and log on to and manage bookings hassle free.

Say hello at cruising altitude
L to R: Dato’ Rashid Khan, Nora Talib & Matthew Willsher / Photo from

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