On Ryanair’s hell on near earth, mobiles on board

Oh dear! The end is near. Last April I wrote a post on the European Comission clearing the way for mobile phone calls on air (On flying misery, and the death of the last mobile-free remnant). Well, serious airlines like Air France-KLM, TAP and BMI have been running trials on the idea, but the FT reports today that the flying coaches of Ryanair are going to be the first fleet to be fully equipped with it (Ryanair opens skies to mobile phones).

 The other day, on the 148 to Victoria, an African man was shouting so loudly on the phone, that it was a poem to see the other passengers’ eyes opening and closing with his words… even the driver had to use the speakers to tell him to be quieter, but of course he couldn’t hear him.

 I might be getting old, extra cynical or both, but it is just what I needed. I really love the idea! According to the FT, Ryanair says that:

passengers would typically make and receive voice calls at non-EU international roaming rates – £1.50 to £3 per minute, with text messages costing 40p-plus and e-mails £1-£2 from mobiles and other smartphones. 

– Expensive. I hear you saying, but we are talking frankness on wings here, who can accuse Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair of not doing what it says on the tin? The same people who get trashed at £4 the can of beer on a flight shorter than a walk in the park, are the ones who will be paying a little fortune for the phone calls.

 I smiled when I read the news, as everyone who has had the pleasure of flying Ryanair knows, I complained about the legroom, check-in, hidden costs, delays, IP price discrimination (try to check the same flight from different computers and locations, the more interest you show in a particular flight, the more it seems to increase… in the computer you are checking it from –can’t prove it, but check it out yourself), etc., but I also praised the extremely low price of its flights. If you feel out of place surrounded by British hordes on a drinking mission, perhaps it is because you don’t belong there.

 And that’s why I smiled. I kept wondering when annoying would turn unbearable, and it finally has. As much as I hate listening to people’s businesses shenanigans, their cat’s latest trick or last night’s conquest while trying to read or just ruminating life’s vicissitudes on the bus or tube, at least it is only 10/20min in the worse case. Imagine 2h!! Imagine 2h and 5 people on the phone at the same time! Imagine the stupid ringtones ringing all along! Imagine the fat lady on your right, taking up half your tiny seat and trying to reach her mobile in her right pocket!

 I have. Thank you Ryanair, you helped me make my mind. I am prepared to pay extra for a flight where I don’t see my fellow passengers as potential focus of hatred. 

Easyjet, opportunity knocks on the door! 



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