Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ring Ring Now You Can Give Me A Call

Qantas and Virgin have conducted rigorous testing, or watched an episode of Mythbusters  to prove what the rest of the world has known for years. Mobile phone do not emit enough electronic radiation to ignite fuel or discombobulate navigational radar. As a result passengers on domestic flights can now leave mobile phones on when crossing the tarmac and boarding the plane before turning them to in flight mode for the duration of the flight. http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/phones-tablets-get-green-light-to-be-switched-on-during-takeoff-and-landing/story-fnizu4n5-1227036498157

So basically, no change for passengers. Be honest, who really turns their phone off?

The airlines claim it provides an “enhanced in-flight experience.” How does being able to either via phone call or text message being able to tell the other person “I am now walking towards the plane, I am now showing them my ticket, I am now walking down the aisle past the rich people, I have found a space in the overhead locker. I am waiting for the instructional video to explain how to fasten my seatbelt” enhance the in-flight experience?

If anything it diminishes the in-flight experience for all other passengers.

Other forms of public transport around the world, that do allow mobile technology have now implemented silent areas because the noise of these devices is intolerable. The beeps and blings and ring tone let alone the loud, pointless and often circular conversations. We have all been caught in a train carriage when a fellow passenger is trying to hold a conversation with a loved one and the only phrase that is repeatedly uttered at ever increasing volume “I cant hear you, I am on the train.”

It is bad enough on a 20 minute commute, imagine being stuck next to that for a 4 hour flight across the country.

Mind you there would be no finer in-flight entertainment eavesdropping on a fellow passenger breaking up with a partner or having a fight with their boss leading to imminent dismissal.

What the airlines should be researching is technology that blocks phone calls and messaging from devices and forces the external speakers to be silent. Passengers should also be forced to wear noise reduction earphones. As distracting  as it is to listen to other peoples choice of music, which is never as good as your own, it is infuriating when it is that hollow, tinny sound of music leaking from earphones. Like a nest of mice playing your cover versions of well known songs, in another room.

If airlines wanted to enhance the in-flight experience perhaps they could give consideration to edible food in Economy, or leg room or coordinating boarding. Board the back rows first, and enforce this, but go even further board the window seats in the back rows then the middle and the aisle seats so people do not have to repeatedly get up and down and squeeze past each other. Enforce the cabin luggage size so there is room for everyone’s bags in an overhead locker in close proximity to their seats.

In the past there were two zones, smoking and non smoking, in the modern world how about kids or no kids. Obese and healthy. Sport team/bucks or hens party and sober. Halitosis/B.O. and hygienic. Gluten free/lactose free/fructose free/vegan/organic/hydroponic/biodynamic/only eating purple and beef/chicken.

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