Flyers rejoice

US gives flyers the option of buying headphones to follow in-flight video entertainment

Indian air passengers who are flying in greater numbers on budget domestic airlines can rejoice as they can now keep devices like mobiles and tablets on in flight for entertainment or work, but not make telephone calls or receive or send email. Allowing them to keep the devices always on (in flight mode) during flights is a DGCA concession after due consideration of any deleterious effect on technical operations. Modern aircraft can cope with the radio signals these devices generate and commanders also have the option of asking that devices be switched off in case of any interference with their radio transmission signals.

National airlines operating within the country spend so little on in-flight entertainment equipment that the DGCA may have decided to permit passengers to use their own devices. While carriers in the US give passengers the option of buying headphones to follow in-flight video entertainment, Indian airlines are unlikely to invest in expensive audio-visual hardware. Also, importantly, the vexatious arguments between cabin crew and passengers over switching off mobiles could become a thing of the past. The fear is passengers will more often be interested in making phone calls than using their smart phones in other modes.

To sensitise passengers to use their devices in airplane mode is not going to be simple. But, as Indians fly in greater numbers by taking advantage of the fare wars, they have a right at least to find a way to kill flying time since they have to pay for everything, including water, on budget airlines. Airlines are dealing these days with people who are more aware and should not struggle to communicate the new rule.

( Source : dc )
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