As well as sending it to a mobile number, you can have your message optionally copied to any email address you specify. Swipe your credit card and the message takes off. The credit card reader was pretty fiddly and required several goes, but got there eventually.
If you receive a reply, the pop-up message seen on the picture at the top of the article appears. You don’t have to elect to collect your messages, which is potentially useful: a not-too-cluey respondent might send you multiple responses and cost you a fortune.
The key word there is “might”, because in practice I never got to read the reply I’d asked a mate to send. Every time I tried, I got the same message: “Service unavailable: Please try again later”. Despite repeated attempts over the last four hours of the flight, it never worked properly. I eventually saw the reply message when it was forwarded to my email address, a service which I didn’t get charged for.
That kind of technical glitch isn’t uncommon when using any kind of mobile service, of course, and there wasn’t anything particularly vital at stake. Nonetheless, I can’t imagine I’ll be racing back to test this particular service in a hurry. And rather than fixing it, I’d rather Qantas finally got around to offering proper in-flight Internet on these long haul journeys.
Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman probably already tweets too much from planes as it is. His Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.
Angus has been writing professionally about technology since 1994 and breaking it for even longer. He is based in Sydney but spends a frankly unhealthy portion of his life on the road, tracking down the latest stories. In 2011, he won the IT Journo Award For Best Consumer Technology Journalist and Consensus IT Writers Award for Best Technical Writer for his work on Lifehacker; about time too.