Mobiles on planes, it is probably one of my more annoying pet peeves that turn up every time I enter Brisbane Airport and leave to my next destination. Apart from the fact that a 2 hour and 45 minute flight from Brisbane to Christchurch, New Zealand only allows for 1 and a quarter movies which leaves me with an empty feeling every time I step off the plan, what about that 20 minute window at the start and the end of your flight.
I don’t know about you, but that dreaded flight assistants voice which robotically tells you to “please switch off all mobiles on this plane as we are preparing to take off/land” really pisses me off.
Now I know what you are thinking about me writing a petty article on mobiles on planes,
- It’s better to be safe than sorry…
- “What’s wrong with you, can’t you live without your phone for 20 minutes?”
- “My god Jeremy, over half the world’s population is living off less than 2 dollars a day and you are worried about whether or not your mobile phone is actually an interference?”
And you would be right on almost every point, apart from the fact that I do not care and yes I may have a problem…… But apparently I am not alone in this fight against my phone because as I look around the plane the grimaces of fellow passengers always confirms my belief that something needs to be done!
Let’s get Telco Bill Cutter nerdy…
Now theoretically, there is a possibility that the UHF transmitters on mobile phones can interfere with some of the frequencies used by GPS, ILS and DME receivers. That is where these rules originally came from. In reality, nobody has actually demonstrated mobiles on planes cause such interference and that it practically exists. But now established rules cannot be easily dropped without proving a negative.
The problem is these rules were established under false presumptions that they actually would interfere which is probably just the safe bet option. However now we have years of data which blatantly disproves this idea and along with Pilots all using ipads themselves during the flights, it is a pretty safe assumption that the airlines know this also.
In this video they explain very clearly the reasons the FDAA has enforced these rules in the past and also shows you why they are all false. The real reason is quite obviously the safety instruction given and the need to pay attention being paramount.
I tend to agree with this as I think a lot of passengers would blatantly ignore the lovely air hostesses (which is fantastic entertainment if you ask me) and their safety instructions which could actually lead to real harm, but I have a problem when the shroud this in a made up story about technology not being safe around planes.
The long and short of this is yes, I believe there should be a hard and fast rule on no devices on when the safety instructions are being given out and people definitely shouldn’t be allowed to talk on their phones during the flight as this could be similarly painful to being forced to sit next to a chain smoker.
However I do think that this fear mongering around your deadly devices need to be stopped as I hate being lied too and I want to use that laptop for as much of the flight as humanly possible.
Fight the power!