Thursday, May 17, 2012

Virgin Atlantic To Allow Inflight Cell Phone Use

Virgin Atlantic has decided to allow inflight cell phone use on some flights. The airline will slowly roll out the service. At first, the service will only work with British O2 and Vodaphone providers. And only 6 cell phones will be able to make calls at any given time.

This is a highly heated issue. Allowing cell phone use inflight is either a blessing to those who want to stay connected, or the ultimate hell for those (like me) who relish the time in the air with no one yapping on their phone.

Further, this surely cause tension in the cabin. People will be easily annoyed at those talking on their phones. And those who want to talk might have to wait if 6 others are already on calls. Add in the fact they are in a very confined space at 30,000+ feet in the air, and you have a perfect storm brewing.

Like many others, my personal view is to keep cell phones banned on all flights. People have gone without using their phones for this long, I'm sure they can continue to deal with it. According to this LA Times article, a 2005 survey found that 63% of passengers oppose inflight cell phone use.

Further, most flight crews are against it too, especially flight attendants because they'll have to play referee  when tensions rise in the cabin over someone chatting away and annoying the rest of us.

It should be noted that Virgin Atlantic is not the only airline to allow cell phones. The LA Times says that Emirates Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have been offering cell service for a few years now.

Photo Credit: eisenbahner Used with permission from Creative Commons.

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