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back to article Brits don't want in-flight calling

A new survey reveals that the majority of Brits don't want regulations on in-flight calling relaxed... a shame since those regulations were relaxed more than two years ago. Online store Mobile Phone Expert asked more than 1500 people if they "welcomed the change in legislation that allows passengers to use their mobile phones". …

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My experience

In my experience, flights are a strange (very un-English) microcosm, where people who're annoying tend to be dealt with as a collective. If it's 4 in the morning and everyone's trying to sleep, and someone starts yacking, everyone will glare them into silence pretty sharpish.

Of course I've never been on a flight with drunken men or women (sorry ladies but I hear you're the worst), going to a stag or hen do. I can only imagine what special kind of hell that must be.

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WTF?

As if flying wasn't unpleasant enough!

Just what you need on a long haul flight, some £$&*! having a loud conversation on his mobile....

Actually, rather than fitting this device to the planes, can't they fit a device to trains and busses that jams the signal instead?

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Roaming charges

The extortionate roaming bills will mean that the regular yappers won't be yapping on their mobiles anyway.

Actually, I'm much more annoyed by frickin' crying babies on flights. The human brain is hard-wired to respond to those, so a baby crying will wake you up, and won't let you sleep. Arrrgh!

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some £$&*! having a loud conversation on his mobile....

"...Yes, I know I was told to stay in isolation but how contagious could it be?"

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Unhappy

I thought Virgin Trains already had!

Whether the similarity of their carriages to a Faraday cage is cock-up or conspiracy is of course another matter!

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Stop

Roaming charges don't matter

when your employers are footing the bill (and you can pass it off as a works call).

Planes should stay phone-call free. Data services are a great idea- business types can keep up-to-date with emails (and even faxes for those really old-school businesses), young 'uns have an Interweb full of flash games to play (on silent or with headphones). But phone calls shouldn't be allowed.

Actually, could they allow them but only after a crash? I'd imagine that it'd be pretty useful to have 2-way [essentially] satellite comms if you crashed but survived, especially with modern GPS-enabled handsets. Survive the crash, whip out the ol' HTC and call the emergency services/your local embassy/whatever. Give them your GPS co-ordinates and bang, 2 days later help arrives.

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Ummm

Good luck banning VOIP.

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Ban them full stop

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png I get annoyed enough on the train when people feel the need to shout or atleast talk louder then required about a subject i dont really want to be hearing, actually whatever the subject is i dont care, i dont buy heat! it is possible to leave you phone and spesh if going on holiday.

Do roaming charges apply whislt int he plane?

If they do go ahead with it, make them pay. i dont want my seat price going up for the offchance i might need to make a call.

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Do roaming charges apply?

Yes, and you are talking about satellite phone rates plus the airline's commission, so I would guess somewhere in the region of £15 per minute wouldn't be far off.

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Unhappy

Hopefully Easyjet/Ryanair will...

...price this out of the sky.

Seriously, it's bad enough flying without having to hear some jibber-jabberin' fool.

Yes, I'm the sort of chap who reminds people they're in the "Shut the heck up" carriage of the train.

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Grenade

I was thinking about O'Leary Airways

According to the article the mobile handset doing its regular logging into the network costs the airline money, so they will want to turn down the regularity of this (which is possible in GSM IIRC).

I wonder what shenanigans you could have by leaving your mobile on but not making/taking any calls, or sending SMS. Costs the airline money without them making any back. Only problem would be if they charge you for receiving SMS but AFAIK no UK operator charges for receiving SMS when roaming anywhere (YMMV).

A small hit back against those nice reasonable charges to check in (which are of course optional and avoidable but only if you don't want to take the flight you've booked).

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Ear plugs are becoming indispensible on flights

Not just to block the screaming kids, but the annoying games consoles, the irritating safety announcements and intrusive in-flight sales too.. I just hope my plane isn't doomed to crash, the first I'd know about it would be the oxygen mask, or the seat in front, banging me on the head (which might not be such a bad way to go).

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Anonymous Coward

</title>

"but we're not convinced that Mobile Phone Expert is all that expert either."

Any group putting "experts" into their name usually aren't experts

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WTF?

The seemingly parentless kids are noise enough, thank you

As someone who takes at least one long haul trip each month I can attest to the fact there are already enough noise generators on board what with all those seemingly abandoned children who derive some sort of pleasure from running up and down the aisles, screaming awakening sleeping passengers, knocking arms whose attached hand is often carrying a glass filled with liquid and causing the long suffering cabin crew additional hassles during trolley service.

Then someones sweethearts discover the light and call buttons to complete the cabin crews work days.

I have seemingly developed quite an effective 'angry stare' technique that gives all but the most reckless child second thoughts on passing my seat. In the event this fails, my feet are equally adept at causing little Johnny to trip with similar effect.

If an adult passenger made proportionately as much noise as these unruly kids they would be restrained and confined to their seats.

All we need in the cabin, to go along with those little bastards who make a habit of hanging over the back of the seat in front of you are a bunch of adults shouting in to cell phones describing the cloud formations the aircraft is passing.

Cell communications should be limited text messaging only and the femto cell emitting a 'vibrate only' instruction to further minimise additional sounds.

The only relief we can expect is that the charges will be so high that only the expense sheet gang in Business or First classes will be persuaded to call.

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Bring on the "No fecking children" flights

I would happily pay a premium to be on the one out of three or four services per day to each destination that was guaranteed to have no children on it. No little wankers running up and down, kicking the back of your seat for 10 hours or crying.

Come on BA, sort out your cashflow and sell the premium option that is actually worth paying for.

Of course, the first class passengers on these "no aggravating little tossers" flights should also get the privilege of throwing the lagered chav (or chavette) from economy class out of the door without a parachute in mid flight.

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Grenade

You sir

obviously have never flown long haul with your own toddlers to know how difficult it is hold them on their seats for one minute let alone hours, but with attitude like yours I hope you never get the opportunity to have kids and find out yourself.

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To be fair

Those annoying kids will often have equally annoying parents - they didn't get that way through chance. Whilst unruly kids can be irritating (the cabin crew can always tell the parents to get control of them), loud mouths are even more so. Nobody likes the use of the "outside voice" in a confined space.

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Alert

As a former obnoxious brat, I wish to say

that my mother had few qualms about a spanking in such a situation. It worked, and if I had toddlers behaving in such a manner, they'd get spanked too.

You simply can't go all wooly-minded liberal and scream child abuse while throwing discipline out the window. Sometimes a short sharp smack is the only message that works, and I speak as a recipient of many; and now, and near-death embarrassment while my parents recount to people the way I was when I was little. Hell, I'd have spanked me!

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And you sir . . .

. . . should properly read what was written.

It doesn't say at any point that you shouldn't be allowed to fly with your little noise maker.

It does say that he's willing to pay a premium for a flight where you aren't allowed on it with your little noise maker.

I'd say he was being pretty restrained. Personally I think we should stop giving cut price fares to children - the weight may decrease the burden on flight costs, but they increase exponentially the stress of everyone else on the flight.

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Anonymous Coward

Well in that case...

May I recommend chloroform?

Every parent's little helper...

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Anonymous Coward

Yes absolutely

Yes absolutely. On my last flight I was sat next to a young mother with an 8 month old baby and I was very pleased that she trusted me enough to ask me to hold the baby while she went to the loo.

Some of you lot are far too curmudgeonly for your age.

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Alert

Trusted you?

Or just had the common sense to realise that there was f*** all you could do to it while sat in a sealed tube full of potential witnesses.

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Flying calls?

If one's staff are so inept that they can't cope for the few hours while one is out of contact due to a flight, then one has hired the wrong people or failed to train them adequately. What do they do when one is asleep? Or on holiday? Or ill?

And if the answer is "Well, I'm big and important and I am the only one who can make decisions. Plus it makes me look big and important to the plebians." then...[slow clap] you have just gone and made yourself a single point of failure. Way to go.

We don't need "always on", all we need is a little bit of fore-thought. Proactive, not reactive.

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More in-flight twattery

As if screaming kids and drunken Brits aren't enough; now we'll have to sit through high volume bores bellowing into their phones.

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Phones, NO. Wifi, YES!

Phones should be banned! Its the same on the Underground. We already have to put up with packed trains where people REFUSE to travel without holding a bloody newspaper, a book or some other form of gadgetry, which, if were not in the hands of commuters during rush hour, would free up more space for more commuters to actually get on a train!!!

Anywho - wifi on planes would be great fun! :)

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Anonymous Coward

Don't get on

We need the gadgets to stop wankers like you - if the train is too crowded to get on without losing your dignity and shoving your unwashed fly into my face, don't get on.

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Better signal

Wouldn't the phone users get a better signal if they went outside?

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Anonymous Coward

A femtocell for my learjet, if you please.

Oh, shoot. I don't have a learjet. Well, rubbish idea then. Boo! Away with it! We don't need more noise in cattle class. Half-conversations are worse than hearing both sides, by the by, even if it turns out both sides are making a big show out of having exactly nothing worthwhile to say.

Anyway, didn't we have to turn off the old mobe because it would somehow interfere with the avionics? Woulnd't a base station on board be worse in that respect? No, this is not critique at all sir, the very idea. Just asking. As an interested bystander, you know. Just asking is all.

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Thank God you were never a kid yourself

@Jaitch: yes, there's always one miserable, self-important toe rag who scowls like a bulldog's jaksie after a night on the chilli and guinness, the moment a kid walks onto 'their' plane. Nice to be able to put a name to the face.

"Little bastards who hang over the seat in front..." etc? Anyone who made those noises in front of a kid of mine would end up enjoying his executive mini-scotch bottle as an enema.

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FAIL

Lead by example :\

"Little bastards who hang over the seat in front..." etc? Anyone who made those noises in front of a kid of mine would end up enjoying his executive mini-scotch bottle as an enema.

Nice - your attitude probably explains why your child would be singled out for misbehaving. Little Johnny's behaviour is only 'cute' or 'inquisitive' to the parents. He is not special, he is not a beautiful or unique snowflake. He's the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

If you can't keep your kids under control and keep them behaving like civilised memebrs of society they are either too young to be in that situation or you fail as a parent. But why not have a pop at someone else about it. After all, it couldn't be your fault your kid is an annoying little twat now could it?

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Wouldn't mind data in flight

But definitely not voice calls. I don't sleep when flying (not even on flights from the UK to Aus/NZ) so access to t'internet would be one more activity (along with ebooks, in flight movies, music/videos/games on my iPhone) to keep the boredom at bay.

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Stop

It certainly wouldn't be cheap

Last time i flew transatlantic the plane had those little handsets in the armrests that were controls for the (touchscreen) TV in front of you but were also capable of making calls. Purely out of interest i checked how much it cost, and it said $2.00 connection fee and $6.00/minute which personally i wouldn't pay unless it was a serious emergency

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Brits don't want in-flight calling

Turn the phone OFF then

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Yours, too

It's more that we don't want to listen to some inconsiderate arsewit bellowing every tedious detail of their dull, dull, dull lives into a phone.

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Stop

HELLO ??! I'm on the plane,..

...THE PLANE

I'VE JUST LANDED!!!!

[nuff said]

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WTF?

Better yet...

Hey let's just fit all the passenger birds with wrestling mats and settle this all in a manly way. Suuuuure I mean that.

@ AC 19:08 GMT : Are you serious man?

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There's an off switch

While you can turn your own phone off, you can't turn off someone else's. I hope the prices are so high that it deters people from making inflight calls. Of course, the chances of the tech actually working realiably as to deliver a usable service are pretty slim anyway.

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Hot air

Good grief. Can we NEVER get away from the damn things? Despite all my techie toys (and I have quite a few!), a phone leaves me totally and utterly stone cold. I have the cheapest, nastiest PAYG phone I could lay my hands on and rarely use it. It's kept mainly for emergencies and the very rare occasion that really, REALLY justifies its use. If I'm socialising, it gets turned off and hidden away in the car. If I was a pub landlord or restaurant manager, I would ban the cursed things! Can't understand why folk are so addicted to inane chatter and texting that they even have to do it during a meal! Absurd.

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A thumbs down from me

Its hard enough to get some sleep traveling against the earths spin as it is. Mobiles ringing and people yapping loudly would make it unbearable.

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Black Helicopters

Done before?

Was this with femtocells and satellite? Didn't the US already have mobile phone comms in airliners in Sept 2001? Otherwise just how did they make those phone calls?

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Unhappy

Thanks guys

Now I know to go on holiday to places that can be reached by other modes of transport. Air flight (what with screaming meemies and pervscans and now maybe mobile-bloody-phones) sounds absolutely frightful. I'd rather WALK to Japan [errr, from north-west France] than suffer a flight like that!

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beeps and screams

Data would be nice though :/ , although I am ready to bet that the beeps of messaging devices would still polute the engine noise.

I think it works at with the prohibitive price, no fools are stupid/rich enough to yap for an hour on their phone in economy class.

As for the kids ... I don't fly toddlers, because ... they are not old enough, and don't impose them on other people, that is because I chose to have them, and other people didn't (@ AC 16 and AC). Toddlers fit in some places, and not others.

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FAIL

The good news is...

I've been on a total of 6 long haul flights that had Femtocells, and my phone never managed to stay hooked up to the thing for longer than ten minutes, and the "Sent to you from 30,000 feet above Singapore" texts to the Mrs never got through. If they were representative then there's no need to worry.

Oh yeah, the call costs were relatively normal roaming call charges. Expensive, but not in the same league as the usurious in-seat phone charges the airlines usually levy.

WiFi would be nice though...

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PLEASE Spare Us From This

Only last night on the train commute home I had to sit across the aisle from some dozy c*** who called everyone in her contacts list from A-Z so we could listen to a solid hour of her inane rambling.

Highlights included what she was having for dinner, some party she was going to, obvious attempts to impress the carriage with her long-haul travel plans - the entire conversation punctuated with tinkling laughter to prove to all aboard how popular, beatiful and important she was.

If the journey had been only 5 minutes longer, the next person to see her phone would have been her gynaecologist.

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FAIL

Wow. Only now?

"To get a mobile working the aircraft must be fitted with a femtocell (a tiny base station), and a satellite uplink to carry the calls. The femtocell also has to be a particularly smart one to keep status updates to a minimum, as every time the handset registers with the network it costs the airline money. That's expensive, and while some airlines are slowly rolling the technology into their aircraft others are holding back until they see some demand."

Makes you wonder how all those crystal clear calls were apparently made from mobiles aboard the Aircraft during 9/11

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Anonymous Coward

That's interesting

"The femtocell also has to be a particularly smart one to keep status updates to a minimum, as every time the handset registers with the network it costs the airline money."

So does that mean if we all keep turning our phones of and on, off and on as many times as possible during the flight the airline gets a huge bill?

Sounds like a plan then.

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Flame

so we know for a fact that you need this technology

to make calls on a plane, then why do we still accept that passengers flight 93 on 9/11 in the us managed to make several cell/mobile calls, when its clearly impossible?

not trying to start a flame here, but It just doesnt make sense

posted AC so i don't get herrased/bumped off

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: so we know for a fact that you need this technology

A couple of people have asked about this, but from a technical point of view there's no problem with the calls made from the hijacked planes.

Those calls were made when the planes were made from a much lower altitude than normal flights, and at risk to the in-flight instruments as the handsets would be operating at very high power to reach the ground (unlike the minimal power needed to contact the on-board femtocell) - but that probably wasn't a concern to the passengers at the time.

Network operators also hate phones being used on domestic flights as they change base stations too quickly (and sometimes appear on multiple base stations at the same time) which is why the Ofcom regulations say you can't make a call until you're at a decent altitude.

The FAA reckons that there's one switched-on phone per domestic flight in the USA, on average, which could make and receive calls if necessary.

Very annoying to the operators it is too.

So conspiracy theorists will need to look elsewhere for inconsistencies on this one.

Bill.

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Grenade

"Very annoying to the operators it is too."

That sounds like the best reason for leaving the phone on in an aircraft that I have ever heard.

Usually it's them that get to annoy me. Nice to know that there is actually a way of getting my own back, even if it smacks of petty vengeance.

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Joke

I'M ON THE PLANE

- had to be said.

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