Turkish Airlines permits the use of mobile phones in-flight.
Using T-Mobile Wi-Fi, I was able to call my wife during my ~14hr flight on Thursday. The connection was clear and we had a nice conversation…it helped to pass time on a very long flight.
But did I disturb those around me? Was I that obnoxious guy…?
I guarantee you I was not. Even my seatmate had no idea I was on the phone!
Here’s the thing–the noise from the engines overshadows the sounds around you, creating white noise that drowns out conversation. When you are 36,000 feet in the air and those around you are either sleeping or watching a movie, you cannot hear your neighbor talking.
How do I know? The lady across the aisle from me was also on the phone and I had no idea what she was talking about.
Point: I maintain fears about cell phone use onboard airplanes are overblown
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai just went on the record this week recommending that his agency block a proposal under consideration to let airlines set their own mobile phone polices.
Whether to allow onboard wi-fi based calling is not up to the FCC, but the FAA (it is not currently prohibited). I’ve argued here why I support the use of mobile phones in-flight.
But one more data point. Just like the people who complain about the spoiled brats running around airline lounges (that seem to be invisible), there will always be those with knee-jerk reactions to the use of phones onboard.
I urge such critics to be a little more pragmatic. I have yet to be on a flight that permitted cell phone usage in which a passenger was rude or obnoxious. I’m not saying it will never happen, but I am saying fears over what WILL happen are greatly exaggerated.