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Cheapflights rings in on the mobile phone debate as it goes airborne  discusses the introduction of mobile phones on aircraft as plans to allow usage get set to hit the runway. As carriers such as Air France and bmi prepare to run trials, debate heats up both for and against the motion. Where some airlines think they’re increasing their level of service to include more amenities, others take heed of the safety fears held by some consumers.   

Despite assurances that new technology enables usage without interference, research conducted by the *Daily Telegraph shows that consumers not only fear for their safety, but most of all, are concerned about the amount of disturbance it might cause.  Passengers do not want their peace to be disrupted by someone chatting away vociferously over the phone.  However, others would appreciate having the option for both personal as well as business reasons.

One could argue that phone usage already exists on aircraft to some extent via in-flight phones, so why the fuss?  The answer is that enabling mobile usage would cost less for the customer so they might be encouraged to use it more freely than an in-flight phone, which could prove disruptive in some instances.

Cheapflights’ general manager, Francesca Ecsery joins the debate in saying, “Naturally, our primary objective is to encourage what is best for consumers as they are our priority.  However, as a consumer myself, I am in favour of enabling mobile phone usage on flights as I would like to have the freedom of being able to place a call if necessary.”

“In my office, opinion is split.  At the end of the day, if mobile phones posed a real threat to security, they would not be allowed on board a plane at all because you cannot ensure that 100 per cent of passengers will remember to switch them off 100 per cent of the time.  We have all forgotten to do so at one point or another.  Since mobile phone usage is allowed on all other modes of transport, why shouldn’t it be allowed on aircraft as well,” continues Ecsery.

“Of course, at Cheapflights we are only in favour of the move so long as it is executed in a way that respects the needs of all travellers.  Enabling usage on board could potentially ease convenience and enhance facilities for the business traveller, but consideration also needs to be made for those who wish to travel in peace.  So long as phone users make their calls quietly and respectfully, it shouldn’t be a problem.  Perhaps some solutions could be to provide noise blocking headphones, create a ‘phone booth’, quiet zones, or mobile phone sections,” concludes Ecsery.