Inflight Wi-Fi OK but calls can be disturbing: USA bans voice calls


While India plans to roll out inflight Wi-Fi connectivity, USA is rolling back the calling option. American travelers are more interested in keeping air travel one of the last spaces to stay disconnected from cell phone coverage to keep the in-flight experience free of potential nuisance and disturbance, according to a Nielsen survey commissioned by Turkish Airlines.

The study into current attitudes and perceptions before, during and after a trip revealed the majority of U.S. travelers oppose the use of mobile phone calls on board and cite “nuisance, disturbance” as the main reason (89%). As technology has improved to allow charging and more online connectivity, that opposition to cell coverage has continued to grow since 2015.

The report found that among U.S. travelers, the most important in-flight factor is the cleanliness of the cabin and lavatory (96%). Other highly important factors for passengers include friendly, attentive and accessible staff (94%); wider seat spacing in all classes (93%); quality food and beverage options (92%); and console screen on the back of the seat for entertainment and information (90%). Internet connectivity (77%) is the most expected feature.

Source:     FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018    115th Congress (2017-2018)

Educating Indian travellers will be a key requirement. Be prepared for a loud co-passenger giving a non-stop commentary or running the latest soap on the speakerphone.

Airlines can also act responsibly and restrict the data connectivity for messaging. Once again the question that I would like to raise is that the public should be consulted along with other stakeholders at public forums.  The unison of the governments and service providers may not be very healthy since a rollback will be detrimental for their business.

About Capt. Amit Singh

I think therefore I am Airlines Operations and Safety balance expert. A former head of operations/training and safety of successful LCC's in India. An experienced member of the startup teams of these airlines has hands-on experience in establishing airlines systems and processes.

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