Virgin Atlantic is preparing to launch an in-flight text messaging service which will allow passengers to have their questions answered at 35,000 feet.

Passengers can text questions from their seat-back TV screens to a land-based answering service which promises to answer them within minutes.

The Richard Branson-owned airline says users can ask questions on any topic they like.

“It’s a great way to ask for a recommended bar in New York, what’s the best way to get over jet-lag, or what’s the best way to chat up the cabin crew,” a Virgin spokeswoman told Reuters.

The service’s launch comes as airlines are attempting to increase non-ticket sales.

However, sending text messages from mobile phones is still prohibited due to interference issues.