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Mobile Phones on Flights (part II)

Travel Forums General Talk Mobile Phones on Flights (part II)

1. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Starting a new thread for an old topic, that is mobile phones on airplanes.

I just read an interesting interview with Patrick Brannelly, Emirates VP Passenger Communications and Visual Services. Emirates is offering mobile phone service on-board, and so aviation blogger "Cranky Flier" asked him some questions about it. Some interesting points in here, especially about there being no complaints, few calls on late night flights and in some places more text messaging than actual calls.

So, what does anyone think?

Personally, I'm still against the idea, but must admit my resistance is starting to fade.


2. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

RyanAir have just started rolling out the same sort of service on some of their flights. Very expensive call time. Then again, with RyanAir - apart from the cheap flight prices, everything else is expensive anyway.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-May-2009, at 12:54 by Redpaddy ]

3. Posted by Gekko HQ (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

So is this a system that allows your mobile to connect to a transceiver in the plane to allow you to make calls? Rather than renting a mobile whilst on board or something like that?..

I guess this shows the years of "no mobile phones" on planes was complete over reaction on the part of the aviation industry, and completely pointless. I mean, come on, if Myth busters proved mobile phones have no effect than that is virtually fact... Seriously though, it's an interesting development, but I fear just another method for budget airlines to take advantage of their passengers...

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I don't know much about it - as there would never be any need for me to phone someone at 36,000 feet unless desperately urgent. All I know is that the cost of calls is going to be astronomical.
I've just found a website ( that has all the info. Texts are around €0.50 and calles between €2 and €3 a minute.

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5642 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Gekko HQ

I mean, come on, if Myth busters proved mobile phones have no effect than that is virtually fact... ...

I do think that when airlines will provide these services, it is still not allowed during take off and landing. Although it is indeed a myth that it would cause any problems at all.

Personally, I wouldn't use them and I still don't like the idea either that people can call (don't mind the text messages of course). It just bothers me, and not only on planes

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I'm so "old school" that I border on the ridiculous...

I understand that I live in a "global" world fueled by technology. But, I also think that people need to have some down time and if that means a plane ride - great. I also think that this move is based on industry and boredom. (Let me explain before passing judgement...)

Industry: We live in a world where everyone is readily available (whether they want to be or not). Businesses feel that their employees should be on 24 hour call regardless of where they are - in the air or on ground. It also comes down to "do your job" by being constantly connected. Basically, you snooze (on a plane) and you lose. No!! Time out, people!! Nothing, seriously, nothing is that important that it can't wait until a plane touches down. I do believe those placing/receiving business calls will be quieter (an less obtrusive) than those commented to below. (They've been at meetings all day and are tired.)

Boredom: Let's see - we're on a plane for 8-10 hours and I just finished my book. Hmmm... What do I do... I call a friend who's awake! Regardless of the cost, they will chat for the next 3 hours and complain about the price after the fact. I have a hard enough time with children playing their games and videos. (Hit the mute button!) I don't care to hear someone's conversations for the duration of the flight.

I agree with Michael - no problem with texting as it's quiet. But considering the flights I have been on with "loud" people, giving them a phone will not help matters. Sometimes, you just need to shut it off for a few hours. No one is that important.

Again, I'm old and curmudgeony. My cell phone collects a lot of dust.

7. Posted by bgl (Full Member 167 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Couldn't agree more! I don't wear a watch, don't own a cell phone and I don't own a laptop. (But I do have three computers, side by side, on my desk!). When I travel I enjoy the time to myself, and I certainly see no need for anyone to reach me when I'm on a plane. Or for me to call someone. And I never check my e-mails when I'm on a trip. That can wait till I get home. This obsession with always being "connected" reminds me of a commercial that I saw several years ago: a guy is sitting in a lounge chair on the beach in Bali, and he's busy typing on his laptop. The commercial is for some service that allows you to be connected no matter where you happen to be. And my immediate thought is: what's the point in going to Bali if you are completely clueless? In other words, if you don't know how to relax, why not just spend the time in your backyard and save all that time and money...!?

8. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Post #7# bgl.... How spot on is that?? Whereas I'm all for moving forward with necessary progress, to me a holiday is for doing the things I can't do for the rest of the year (am I the only the person left in the world that still sends postcards??). I 'Do' check my emails occasionally when I'm away, in the occasional webshack en-route (I certainly don't go searching for ages to find one though) - and I have a mobile phone with a local simcard in it too. That's it though.
Sitting in front of a laptop for hours on end?? That sounds like the holidaymaker that just has to have the best sunglasses (with a label on show) and the most expensive clothes in the crowd. Takes all sorts - I s'pose.

9. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I actually do like the quiet time I get on a flight - bar screaming babies (they oughta ban those!). So I don't see the need to have phone connectivity. As Isa mentioned, the loud ones will only get louder, and that's got to be the pits. If people don't know what to do with themselves during a long-haul flight, it's about time they learn to entertain themselves, but not at the expense of others' peace of mind.

10. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Post #9# summer 910.... The in-flight phone thing is all about profit - not service. Long haul normally has a couple of films on - and there's usually free music too. Headphones, a book full of cryptic crosswords for me - and the babies can scream for hours. I just won't hear 'em.