What kind of seat would you like? Smoking or nonsmoking? Cell-phone or non-cell-phone? Seated or standing harnessed to a board?. Many peoples worst fears are coming true: Cellphones will be legal on selected Air France flights. Using technology from On Air, Air France will outfit a single Airbus 318, set for delivery, with equipment allowing customers to use their phones in flight.
In essence OnAir’s technology emulates a mobile network inside an aircraft. The specially designed pico-cell system, for instance, allows mobile devices to operate at lower transmission power and thus eliminate interference with other radio systems, according to the company’s website. The system also ensures that phones on board can’t attempt to log on to terrestrial networks.
To determine demand, the French airlines will ask all passengers using the service to complete a questionnaire. Depending on their response, the company will decide how many additional aircraft will offer the service. Details about pricing were not available.
Plans for the OnAir system are on deck to be retrofitted on existing aircraft for British carrier BMI and Portugal’s TAP. In the U.S., public opposition to cellphones in flight is fairly strong, but Europe looks like it may go the other way
Emirates Air also allows you to bring your falcon on board as long as you buy it a first class ticket. After all falcon could never stoop so low as to fly business or coach. Since my falcon has a cell phone. It only seems fair that she be able to use it on board. Emirates says it will counter these objections by allowing air crew to switch off the system at night, so passengers can only send text messages. The airline may also introduce quiet zones.
I can live with that, especially the proposal to have quiet hours. Am I thrilled with the idea of phones ringing all around me? No. But cellphones are coming on planes — they’re even replacing the “no smoking” light with “no phones” on newly-built planes, after all. Allow cellphones in flight - Air France.