Cell phone bans on planes? Could cabin crew answer your calls?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A recent Airbus survey showed around 80% of people on a six-hour flight would be willing to make a call It’s the question that has woken up a…

Cell phone bans on planes? Could cabin crew answer your calls?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A recent Airbus survey showed around 80% of people on a six-hour flight would be willing to make a call

It’s the question that has woken up a lot of cabin crew and raised concerns over privacy. And it isn’t one they want you to ask.

Yes, it’s now possible to make and receive calls while on an airplane.

But thanks to a range of regulations that have been put in place since the 1950s, crew are currently obliged to be on hand to answer phone calls.

So, will the advent of cell phone calls mean they are no longer necessary for cabin crew?

Airbus research in 2017 showed around 80% of people on a six-hour flight would be willing to make a call.

The company claims this makes making a phone call a “natural extension of service on the flight”, much like wi-fi.

However, any owner of a personal device is not permitted to use the phone mid-flight.

And this is a situation that could become more likely if the UK introduces free calls on airplanes, as long as calls are not outgoing.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority, which is currently seeking public feedback, says it is in the process of running tests to see whether this would be an improvement in safety.

It is also in talks with major airlines to see if an outright ban might be required for planes of under 50 tonnes flying over European airspace.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Do you like it when your plane lands just as the buzzing of a cell phone starts up?

Interestingly, British Airways has been trialling in-flight calls on its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and by the end of this year it plans to introduce the service on a trial basis on British Airways 767-300 planes.

Boeing’s regulations, which were brought in after the 1988 crash of a Korean Air Lines flight in which 99 passengers and crew were killed, includes a ban on in-flight voice calls.

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