In-flight mobile calls to be allowed – Europe

A newspaper report yesterday indicated that the European Commission is planning to announce rules allowing airlines to offer mid-air mobile phone calls to passengers across the European Union and are currently working out the nitty-gritty to make this happen. EU officials said that last month, the British telecommunications regulator, announced that it would like to allow airlines to offer mobile communications on board aircraft and it seems that the German, French and Irish authorities are thought to be ready to do the same.

Well is this a good or bad thing? From the phone carriers and airlines point of view it definitely is a good thing as they have discovered young people’s dependency on mobile phones and it is a cash-cow for the providers of such services.  However, having just experienced a 20 minute mobile conversation by young woman on the way home after work, I can tell you that it’s pretty irratating. When you’re tired after work and your nerves are a little frayed, who wants to hear someone discussing their private life in a fairly loud tone. My ferry ride was 20 minutes but can you imagine going through this over a 16 hour flight? And what about those who can’t sleep on flights but are happy to find someone, somewhere in the universe who are happy to chat the night away with them. The aeroplane is a pretty confined space and what do you do if the person next to you happens to be a talking machine!

Of course there are mobile phone ettiquette, but hands up those who have experienced mobile phones going off in the cinemas, restaurants or at the opera. It wasn’t that long ago when smoking was allowed on flights and remember how aggravating it was when the plane stank of cigarette smoke, even though you may be sitting in a no-smoking section.  Surely in a confined space, one has a right to peace and quiet so as not to arrive in a state of collapse at your destination. If I don’t like the jabbering, will I be allowed to play my music loudly to counteract the noise? Of course this is just coming from someone who objects to being subjected to someone else’s chatter. What do you think?


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