We all hear the same announcement when we are on a domestic flight to please turn off our cell phones before flight, but is this really necessary? As we become a more mobile world, more travelers are wanting to be able to use their phones. In fact, many international airlines have lifted the ban on cell phone use and have seen no adverse issues with it. Technology has been developed where cell phone usage does not interfere with the communications of the airplane with the tower or with the running of the avionics equipment.
The ban by the FCC has been in place for the last twenty years in America. The thought behind the ban is that cell phone transmissions could adversely affect the navigational instruments in the cockpit as well as interfere with wireless networks on the ground. There has been no real evidence that this has occurred. Some argue that the FCC and the FAA do not want to invest the money to do the testing and are leaving it up to the airlines to do so. The thought is to be on the cautionary side if something should occur.
OnAir is a company that specializes in mobile inflight service and is one of the main global providers. They have been working with airlines such as British Airways and Emirates. They only see it is time that all airlines will offer the ability to use your phone on flight. They hear from their clients that more of them prefer to use a cellular phone during light than Wi-fi.
The other issue that comes up with cell phone use is the noise nuisance on the plane. Many passengers want to enjoy a quiet and calm flight and do not want to add cell phone calls to the mix. OnAir found that most passenger conversations are not more than 3 minutes in length.
Many predict that all airlines in the future will allow you to use your cellphone. The question may be on if the airlines will work with cell phone carriers to collect fees to use this service. What are your thoughts? Should the ban be lifted? Do you think cell phones on planes are more of a hindrance than convenience on planes?