2/15/2005

You have all seen them.

You have all seen them. The little telephones placed in the back of airline seats. But how many of us have used them? Not me, I always wondered how much it would cost but never ever picked one up. Soon the European airplane manufacture Airbus will do away with such out of date technology by allowing private cell phone use on all its European flights! In an article titled "Cell phone use coming for Airbus fliers" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6975242/ I read how Airbus is going to save people the scare resource of time!
Those long flights with nothing to do can be filled with useful conversion and constructive web time! This is a classic example of technology moving forward helping people to become more productive by filling in a small economic niche. I hope it is only a matter of time before U.S. regulations permit such a technological advance because there is a domestic demand.

7 comments:

sam said...

I really enjoyed reading this article. I believe the majority of people that fly are on business. Like Eric mentioned there are many hours spent in a plane and time is money in the business world. Therefore it would only make sense that airlines would increase their revenue if they could cater a little more to thier customers.

Keston said...

I think this is a great market Airbus is adventuring into. With cell phones now having Internet access I think this will help out business travelers and others tremendously. With the ability to use your own cell phone on the airplane, travelers can now communicate with co-workers and perform business operations without paying huge fees. I hope that before too long all airlines allow cellular phone use.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Eric's post for a poorly formatted link.

-1 on Sam's comment for a spelling mistake.

I think you will see this, but the effect will be much larger on casual conversation. I'm guessing that most reasonable business earns marginal benefits high enough to cover the high marginal costs of current airline phone and internet access. If they reduce the marginal cost of these services, what you will see is a lot of pent up demand for low marginal benefit use of that equipment. Expect a lot more "we're taking off now", and "the food is lousy" calls on planes, and a lot less conversation with the strangers sitting near you (that's also a low marginal benefit activity that occurs now because its marginal costs are so much lower than other activities).

Drake said...

I personally thought that the phones that they had for use in those planes was strictly forbidden unless you were a professional business traveler. Why has it taken so long to allow cell phone useage on commercial airplanes. It seems like we should have been able to do this long ago. Well kudos to Airbus for at least pulling out there heads far enough to realize a good idea when it is so blantantly obvious.

sierra said...

Cell phones are a must on airplanes. I am one who travels a lot during the year, and sometimes flights are way too long because my body just doesn't sleep well on planes, therefore, I need the use of my cell phone. I agree with Professor Tufte that most cell phones will be used for calls to friends or family just to make the flight go by faster. But this is something that would be great for people that travel.

Rex said...

What an advance for the world traveling business person. They would be able to keep in constant communication with their office and whom ever they are meeting on the other end. This would allow more work to be accomplished during flight time and could shorten the time away for the office. If airbus were to implement this system, they could have a huge one up on the international business sector.

Chuck said...

My immediate response is to agree with Eric and the rest of those who commented that yes, it would be benificial for those in business to use cell phones. The pros of cell phone use on airplanes out way the cons. I fly from Las Vegas to the East twice a year, so I'm a modererate to mild traveler. On those plane rides I either read a book, sleep, or talk to my neighbor at a respectable volume. The last thing I want to hear as I'm reading or tring to sleep is a high school aged chick talking obnoxiously to her friend. So If Airbus could eliminate the obnoxious paseners and only allow the respectful ones abord it would be great!