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Australia Transportation

Aussie Airlines To Allow Uninterrupted Mobile Use During Flights 51

Posted by timothy
from the Friendlier-down-there dept.
Bismillah (993337) writes "While you're in coverage during take-off and landing, at least. Passengers flying with Qantas and Virgin Australia might be able to leave their devices on from as early as September this year after the Civil Aviation Authority decided it was no longer unsafe to do so."
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Aussie Airlines To Allow Uninterrupted Mobile Use During Flights

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  • Now they can sell Internet when phone calling abroad is already passé?
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Now they can sell Internet when phone calling abroad is already passé?

      Because there's no coverage up that high.

      Plus it makes it easier to sell internet services. You simply put a cell on the plane and charge for the connection to the cell (easy enough with a captive portal). Same with voice calls and SMS's.

      But for the moment, QANTAS and Virgin AU dont even offer in-flight internet.

  • by The Pi-Guy (529892) <joshua+slashdot AT joshuawise DOT com> on Monday August 25, 2014 @03:22AM (#47746003) Homepage

    The article summary is completely wrong -- it mentions "while you're in coverage", to mean that you can leave the device connected to the network.

    But from TFA: "Plane passengers will be allowed to use electronic devices weighing less than a kilogram in offline mode from gate to gate without needing to turn them off. The devices will need to remain in flight mode and cannot be used for calls, text or data, however."

    So, all this really does is confirm the findings that the FAA had -- small devices are reasonable to use in airplane mode in all phases of flight.

    • by orzetto (545509) on Monday August 25, 2014 @04:22AM (#47746163)

      That is correct, but other companies do offer mobile coverage on board: I have flown with SAS planes with on-board GSM [aircraftin...tional.com], and whereas I did not try it (waaay too expensive rates, it's the new iteration of the airplane phone) I got signal on my device.

      You still have to put the device in flight mode for take-off and landing, I assume because a few hundred mobile phones moving at several hundred km/h can overload or confuse ground stations.

      WiFi is also made available only when cruising over 3000 metres, I assume because the Internet connection travels over the same data channel the GSM. You can't really play Youtube over the slow connection, but checking mail and reading newspaper is OK.

      • I assume because a few hundred mobile phones moving at several hundred km/h can overload or confuse ground stations

        I'd love to do it just to see the face of technician when he is called to solve the "problem".
    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday August 25, 2014 @06:00AM (#47746367)

      The article summary is completely wrong -- it mentions "while you're in coverage", to mean that you can leave the device connected to the network.

      But from TFA: "Plane passengers will be allowed to use electronic devices weighing less than a kilogram in offline mode from gate to gate without needing to turn them off. The devices will need to remain in flight mode and cannot be used for calls, text or data, however."

      So, all this really does is confirm the findings that the FAA had -- small devices are reasonable to use in airplane mode in all phases of flight.

      Despite the fact everyone on the plane already has their damned phone on, they are totally safe in call mode as well. If a cellphone can screw up the instrumentation of your aircraft, there's something wrong with the aircraft, not the passengers.

      • by GuB-42 (2483988)

        Despite the fact everyone on the plane already has their damned phone on, they are totally safe in call mode as well. If a cellphone can screw up the instrumentation of your aircraft, there's something wrong with the aircraft, not the passengers.

        It CAN screw up the instrumentation. It won't affect flight controls or engines, however, it can mess up with the radios.

        You know sometimes you hear some noise in your speakers or headphones when you are about to receive a call. Pilot headsets are no different and will pickup cell phone radio noise exactly the same way. In another instance, a cell phone external battery pack leaked enough radio noise to open the squelch of a nearby portable air band radio. There are all personal experiences. And if you don'

    • by mjwx (966435)

      But from TFA: "Plane passengers will be allowed to use electronic devices weighing less than a kilogram in offline mode from gate to gate without needing to turn them off. The devices will need to remain in flight mode and cannot be used for calls, text or data, however."

      So, all this really does is confirm the findings that the FAA had -- small devices are reasonable to use in airplane mode in all phases of flight.

      This pretty much means nothing has changed.

      Singapore Airlines changed their safety video about 3 years ago to say that "all transmitting devices must be in flight mode and stowed for take off and landing". Ever since flight mode became commonplace (think old Nokia's, long before the time of Android and Iphones) it's been this way. It's only recently that the Hoi Polloi got a phone that has the capability to dick around off-line. For the business traveller, it's long since been a case of put it in flight

  • by darkain (749283) on Monday August 25, 2014 @03:23AM (#47746025) Homepage

    We've had this in the states for a while now. Being a frequent flyer, I personally love it. I don't do a whole hell of a lot with mobile devices on the plan, other than get to my seat, turn up the music, and pass out. But it is nice to have that music from beginning to end of the trip to drown out the noise of the others on the flights.

    Also something new and awesome. Alaska Airlines (and possibly others) now have USB and 110v outlets on the back of the seat in front of you. No more needing to rush to find outlets in layover airports!

    • by itamihn (1213328)

      Icelandair has USB outlets as well. I love it! :)

    • Alaska Airlines (and possibly others) now have USB and 110v outlets on the back of the seat in front of you. No more needing to rush to find outlets in layover airports!

      A KLM flight I took from Schipol to Calgary earlier in the year had USB ports on all the seat-backs.

      Just a shame the in-flight entertainment system was so damned unreliable - both the flight there and the return saw my screen crash, and the air crew said they couldn't do anything about it without resetting all the screens on the plane.

    • by houghi (78078)

      No more needing to rush to find outlets in layover airports!

      I do not understand why not more companies use this as an advertising opportunity.
      One place I saw this was in Madrid where they had a big screen TV with chargers under it. This ment that all those people who would be charging their hardware, would also be sitting in front of said TV.
      That should be a advertisers wet dream: people who will watch your 5 minute clip over and over again.

      In Brussels I saw some electrical company placing bicicles where yo

  • as long as ... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by thephydes (727739)
    the ignorant cunt next to me isn't allowed to inflict his/her loud spoken conversation on me while I'm trying to sleep/tune out/read, then that's OK with me. As soon as they allow voice calls, air travel is well and truly fucked - much like going to a coffee shop in suburbia.
    • Re:as long as ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thegarbz (1787294) on Monday August 25, 2014 @04:25AM (#47746177)

      It's usually not a problem unless that person is American. See here down under we don't naturally assume everyone is an ass.

      Just like here on Slashdot we don't assume the summaries are correct, or that people have RTFA which says that devices must still be in flight mode just no longer turned off, in which case I would seriously question why the person next to you is having a loud conversation with nobody.

    • by ruir (2709173)
      Mind it I really do not like it as much as you, however ear plugs are part of my gear international flights with which I cannot do without.
  • Now I have to be stuck in a plan with no escape from these people who have no phone etiquette on the ground.

    After September watch for a strange increase in assaults that occur on aircraft.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If someone speaks loudly on their phone during a long journey, shit your pants. Just let it all out.

      The experience of shitty pants isn't as unbearable as hours next to a babbling cunt - you already know how your shit stinks - but their flight will ruined with an indelible memory for your seat-neighbour.

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        If someone speaks loudly on their phone during a long journey, shit your pants. Just let it all out.

        It's an interesting idea however I think I might choose to fart instead since it still smells like shit but it won't make me uncomfortable. Besides I usually let a good steamer go before I fly so I'm usually empty before take-off so it takes a while for one, you know, to be in the chamber.

        The experience of shitty pants isn't as unbearable as hours next to a babbling cunt - you already know how your shit stinks - but their flight will ruined with an indelible memory for your seat-neighbour.

        Thanks for the advice. It must have been some experience to smell your own shitted pants next to a babbling cunt.

  • In the US, the ban was during takeoff and landing, for safety reasons, as there wasn't enough room for recovery efforts by the pilot.

    Bans in use while cruising were FCC, not FAA, because your high speed confused and stressed the cell phone network, and had nothing to do with safety.

  • Over the last two weeks, prior to August 23, I've been allowed to keep devices on during flights from the US to Asia via Europe, and back on European airlines. The airlines in the articles are not the first to do this.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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