12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
COMMENT: On Board Mobile Phones
There used to be a time when smokers sat at the back of an aircraft. They puffed away, even with modern air conditioning the fumes permutated into the rest of the ”plane. The British brought in a ban and also the USA. Even the French and Japanese, both smoking nations, followed suit. Very few civil aviation authorities now allow the indulgence.
Another ailment could soon strike the American airline scene with Europe following fast. The in-flight phone. Or more correctly cabin functioning mobile phones or ”cell-phones”.
On board fixed phones for the most part have not worked. Too expensive. But mobiles are a different matter. New technology and straightforward satellite communications makes for relatively easy and cheap installation and use.
But is this good news or bad news? A poll sponsored by the US National Consumer League and a flight attendants' association has found that an overwhelming majority of people want to have restrictions in place during flights. Only 21% said that they would like in-flight mobile phones. A Federal Communications Commission proposal wants to lift the ban on cell phones and other wireless data during flights in the US.
Boeing”s Connexion and similar installations do work. For the most part they are silent. Not the mobile phone.
ABTN looks at the alternatives. Do you ban the use of mobile phones in a talking mode in UK registered aircraft? It”s bad enough sitting in the terminal with all the cluttering noise going on. Even on the London Underground (where it is on the surface) the talkers are hard at work. Consider allowing text messages. And here the problem is the cost. Is it a revenue centre or a service? One suspects airline bosses will want to save money. Your seat neighbour chatting on (and on) might just persuade you to try another carrier next time. Or we could return to a past era and have a phoning zone at the back of an aircraft. Puffing at ”phones rather than cigarettes!