As if the experience of flying weren’t bad enough already with lousy (or non-existent) airline food, precious little leg room, massive delays, packed flights and idiotic security “theater” measures, here comes Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulatory authority, with a deranged plan to make the flying experience completely unbearable: Ofcom is allowing UK-registered airlines to let passengers use mobile phones on flights.
In addressing the question of “potential discomfort and anti-social behaviour” (I love the use of the word “potential” as in the “potential” of me falling to the ground if I jump off the top of a building), Ofcom leaves it up to the airlines who are certainly to be trusted in ensuring the welfare of passengers.
The Ofcom document says in part:
Â . . . Some of the responses to the consultation also raised concerns about passenger welfare and the potential for discomfort, anti-social behaviour and â€œair rageâ€ on board. At an operational level, such considerations fall to the airlines and Ofcom notified the CAA of the non-confidential comments received during the consultation and passed comments on to them. Security concerns were also expressed and these fall within the remit of the Department for Transport (DfT) – Transport Security Branch. These issues are outside Ofcomâ€™s remit and it will be for these regulatory bodies to consider the safety, welfare and security issues relevant to them.
1.6 The UK CAA, in liaison with the Department for Transport (DfT), requires that airlines have appropriate procedures to deal with disruptive passenger events and further requires that such events are notified through the formal reporting system.Â
Here’s my response: if an airline allows calls on flights, I will most definitely look for ways NOT to fly on their planes.