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Should passengers be allowed to use mobile phones on planes?
It may be the straw that breaks the air rage camel's back, but Virgin Atlantic has become the first airline to offer in-flight mobile phone access in the air. This service will initially be available on the London to New York route and the airline estimates that by the end of the year, the service will be available on 17 planes, on at least 10 routes.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the service will be provided by AeroMobile, and is one step up from British Airways' current mobile service, which permits texting and web access only.
But, although the service is clearly aimed at business passengers, the fact that it is not exorbitant - Virgin will charge normal roaming charges - may make it appealing to those who aren't making urgent phone calls.
Which begs the question - what will this mean for other passengers? It's challenging enough being stuck on a bus or train with someone having a loud conversation on their phone, let alone a long-haul flight. Is it really a necessary service?
I hate to sound overly pessimistic, but having witnessed passengers get into arguments with air stewards over switching their phones off and turning them on while the plane is taxiing, it seems to be a likely bone of contention. You'd hope that most people have the decency not to be over-bearing with their mobiles, but most of us know from experience that this can't be relied on to happen.
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yet more moronic phone calls which will disturb everyone around the plane, its one of the last bastions when you dont have to put up with mobile's ringing and texts pinging, not a good idea.
Its bad enough for those traveling with children to get them to sleep, to then havet hem woken up by someone on a mobile phone.
How will it work for night flights when some grown up folks want to sleep.?
Phones with the capability to be used on a long haul flight will most likely be capable of text or email too. People who feel they must communicate with the outside world during a flight can use those. Making a voice call over engine noise on a plane will be intrusive and disturb other passengers unless there is a seperate area where calls can be made. I hate sitting next to someone who is using a laptop as I can see what they are working on, or their emails. I don't want to have to listen to their conversations and be made to feel I am the one who should move to another seat.
I am an air steward. Ive had the many a conversation with passengers about switching off their mobile phones, and other electronic devices, such as Kindles, Laptops, ipods and so on and on. Basically it was because of the fear of interruption of the aircrafts instruments.
I agree that these electronic devices should be disabled during critical times during the flights, i.e. take off and landing phases. This is because they are a distraction to the passengers, who are also extra eyes and ears to the crew. Its also the reason we ensure window blinds are not closed during these periods when we secure the cabin. Passengers may spot and alert us to anything out of the ordinary at these times. (There is always a very good reason behind what we ask people to do regarding safety)
However, mobile phone technology is here to stay by the looks. So as upsetting as it may be to some, It is probably going to happen in some shape or form.