What is PAX on Boeing 777? (Tel Passenger Telephone)

The Tel Passenger Telephone, commonly referred to as PAX, is a communication system installed on Boeing 777 aircraft. It allows passengers to make phone calls from their seats while flying. This in-flight telephone service is designed to provide convenience and connectivity to passengers, allowing them to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues even at high altitudes.

With the Tel Passenger Telephone system on board, passengers can make and receive phone calls to any phone number worldwide. The system operates through a dedicated network linked to satellite communication systems, enabling seamless connectivity throughout the flight.

How Does the Tel Passenger Telephone Work?

The Tel Passenger Telephone system on Boeing 777 aircraft works through satellite communication technology. It utilizes the onboard satellite communication systems to establish a connection between the aircraft and ground-based networks. Here’s how it works:

1. Passenger Initiates Call: Passengers can initiate a phone call by picking up the telephone handset integrated into the seat armrest. They can dial the desired phone number using the keypad provided on the handset.

2. Connection to Satellite Network: When the call is initiated, the Tel Passenger Telephone system establishes a connection with the satellite network. This connection allows the phone call to be transmitted from the aircraft to the ground-based networks.

3. Communication with Ground Networks: Once connected to the satellite network, the Tel Passenger Telephone system routes the call to the ground-based networks. These networks then facilitate communication with the recipient of the call, who could be using any standard telephone on the ground.

4. Audio and Data Transmission: The Tel Passenger Telephone system ensures the transmission of both audio and data signals between the aircraft and the ground networks. This allows passengers to have clear, real-time conversations, and also enables the transfer of data such as SMS messages.

The Tel Passenger Telephone system operates independently from other onboard communication systems, such as Wi-Fi or in-flight entertainment systems. It provides a dedicated channel for telephone communication, ensuring reliable connectivity and minimizing interference with other systems.

Benefits and Limitations of Tel Passenger Telephone

The Tel Passenger Telephone system offers several benefits to the passengers and the airline, but it also has certain limitations. Here’s a breakdown:


1. Connectivity: The Tel Passenger Telephone enables passengers to stay connected with their loved ones and business partners while in the air. It provides a sense of continuity and ensures important communications can be conducted even during a flight.

2. Convenience: Passengers no longer need to rely on email or chat applications to communicate during a flight. With the Tel Passenger Telephone, they can make real-time voice calls, which can be more efficient and effective for certain types of conversations.

3. Emergency Communication: In case of emergencies during a flight, the Tel Passenger Telephone can play a crucial role in enabling passengers to make urgent phone calls. This can be especially important for medical emergencies or situations requiring immediate assistance.


1. Cost: The use of the Tel Passenger Telephone involves additional charges, which can be expensive for passengers. The cost is typically based on the usage duration and the selected call plan, leading to potentially high fees for extended phone calls.

2. Noise and Disturbance: Phone calls made through the Tel Passenger Telephone can create noise and disturbances for other passengers in close proximity. This can be particularly challenging during long-haul flights where passengers may need rest or quiet.

3. Limited Privacy: The Tel Passenger Telephone system operates in a public setting, which may compromise the privacy of conversations. Other passengers nearby can potentially overhear conversations, leading to concerns about confidentiality.

4. Regulations and Policies: The use of in-flight telecommunication systems is subject to regulations and policies imposed by aviation authorities and individual airlines. Some airlines may restrict the use of Tel Passenger Telephone during specific phases of flight or enforce other limitations to ensure a peaceful cabin environment.

The Future of In-Flight Communication

As technology continues to evolve, the landscape of in-flight communication is also changing. While the Tel Passenger Telephone system has been a popular feature on Boeing 777 aircraft, newer connectivity options are emerging.

One such option is the integration of wireless internet connectivity, commonly known as Wi-Fi, on board aircraft. Wi-Fi allows passengers to access the internet and use Voice Over IP (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, to make phone calls. This eliminates the need for a dedicated Tel Passenger Telephone system and provides more flexibility in terms of communication options.

The adoption of Wi-Fi connectivity on aircraft is gradually increasing, with many airlines offering this service as an additional amenity. However, it’s worth noting that Wi-Fi is still not universally available on all flights, and its usage may come with separate charges.

Ultimately, the future of in-flight communication lies in providing passengers with a seamless and integrated connectivity experience. Whether through dedicated telephone systems or wireless internet access, the goal is to enable passengers to stay connected to the world even while soaring above the clouds.

For more information on the Boeing 777 aircraft and its features, visit boeing.com.

For More: What is PCT on Boeing 777? (Percent)