“Hello? Yes, I’m on a plane”

The dreaded day cometh when the delicate sound of babies screaming is enhanced by booming mobile phone conversations on a plane.

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus SAS plans to include in its new Superjumbo A380 planes an optional voice and data system
that can allow passengers to use their mobile devices in flight. The service, including onboard mobile telephony and Internet
access for passengers, will be offered through the OnAir joint venture to airline companies purchasing the A380. The system
could be fitted on other models from Airbus as well as on planes from U.S. rival Boeing. The service should become commercially
available in 2006, Airbus and OnAir said.

Much as I was impressed by the launch of the A380 (the one of the biggest product launches ever), I’m not a supporter of mobile telephony on planes. A Canute-like perspective, I know. That said, Internet access on a plane would be great, and if you have that, I guess VoIP will soon open up the ability to make calls.

Traveler’s tip – I sat next to a guy recently who swears by the use of ear plugs used in rifle shooting.