13 April 2006

Air France to allow in-flight mobile phoning, texting, e-mail, etc.

The family of four stretching across Row No. 21 is fighting amongst themselves. Their baby demonstrates its lung capacity by crying for 30-minutes solid. The teenagers in Row No. 20 are speaking a language that sounds like your own, but is fast and mumbled -- completely unintelligible. The topic seems to be about things that totally "suck." The salesman in Row No. 19 wants to know if the passenger next to him plays golf, then launches into a 90-minute review of the nation's golf courses. He can be heard at the back of the plane, in the bathroom...with the door closed. His neighbor seems uninterested, but the conversation is about HIM, so it persists. Noises from nearly every row echo through the cabin.

To this concert of banality, Air France would like to introduce the ultimate in uneccessary air cabin noise -- the mobile phone conversation. I learned about this troubling news at www.which.co.uk...

Air France will incorporate special in-flight technology into the 100-seater Airbus A318, which is due to enter service in March 2007. That will make it the first airline in the world to introduce the technology. Until now mobile phones have been banned on aircraft as they can disrupt navigation systems.

The service will mean passengers can make calls and send texts on their phone as well as access the internet, and receive and send emails on phones, laptops or other devices.

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