Travellers Say No to Use of Mobile Phones during Flights

Air travellers have expressed their rejection for use of mobile phones in flights, says a recent survey conducted by a UK-based flight comparison site, Skyscanner.

Around 86 percent of those polled said that it is ‘annoying to have to listen to other people’s conversations’, while only a small minority, of 1 percent of respondents, said that they are willing to pay more for seats in airlines which offer mobile calls.

Virgin Atlantic, an airline subsidiary of UK-based Virgin Group, is the first airline based in the UK to offer mobile phone calls during its flights from London to New York, US. The airline has priced the calls at GBP1.00 per minute, while text messages will be charged at GBP0.20 per message. The airline is yet to launch the service.

The Skyscanner travel editor, Sam Baldwin, said, ‘In a world where we are now almost always ‘on call’, it seems people don’t want to say good-bye to their last sanctuary of non-connectivity. Flying allows us to switch off for a few hours, both from our own calls, and other people’s. However, Virgin’s move into onboard mobile is the beginning of the end of the no-phone zone. I think it’s inevitable that within a few years, making mobile calls at 30,000 feet will be commonplace on all airlines.’

The recent survey also highlighted that if mobile phone use is made available in-flight, around 48 percent will be keen to send texts, 35 percent will use it to surf the Internet, 10 percent will send emails, and only 6 percent will be keen to make or receive calls.