FAs Ignore Cell Phone Conversation

August 4, 2010

in Passenger Stories

I lived for 6 months in Kazakhstan last year. Not the one from the movie Borat, but in the original country. In spring 2009, I flew from Astana to Almaty on board Air Astana. Air Astana is the international operating and biggest airline of the country.

A 30-year-old woman was sitting on my left in a window seat. Two stewards were sitting with their face to us two seats in front of us in the companion seats. Then, a few seconds before the touchdown, the lady’s mobile phone started to ring. She took it calmly out of her handbag and started to speak with the caller. And she had to speak really loudly, because the landing procedure was really noisy. The two stewards just looked at her for a second and then continued their conversation.

I got really confused and upset and asked them why they didn’t intervene because use of a mobile is really dangerous, especially during the landing process.

They said: “Sir, sorry, but by the time we tell her not to use the cellphone and when she shuts it off, we will be at the terminal. It’s not worth the trouble. And she is the sister of the captain.”

Well, what more to say? Now I live in Germany again.

– Baris C., Frankfurt

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Teenaged Tourist August 5, 2010 at 5:41 am

Hmmmmm….. In China it is impossible to make a phone call on a plane since you lose all network connection, starting from the take off roll until the plane taxis back to the terminal. Not sure about the mobile service in Kazakhstan but unless someone corrects me about this, I'd call BS.

Reply

David August 5, 2010 at 5:51 am

The truth is, nobody has ever been able to show that cell phones can effect aircraft electronics. It has been explained to me that there is no practical way to test for this. There are so many variables with all the different types of phones and different frequencies as well as all the different types of electronic gear from all the different aircrafts, you just can't test them all. So just to be safe the FAA simply bans phones on commercial planes. Besides, when a plane is at cruising altitude of say 35000 feet you would not get any reception anyway, or spotty reception at best. The only time you would get reception is the few minutes during take off and landing. Mythbusters tried testing this and they could not get a phone to have any effect at all on at least the aircraft electronics they tried. I occasionally I fly on small private airplanes and when I ask the pilots if I can use my phone they all say go ahead if you can get reception. Not once have they told me no. It is just a precaution by the FAA on commercial flights because they can't know for sure if it is safe or not and would be too expensive to do all the testing.

Reply

David August 5, 2010 at 5:53 am

Um my phone has service when I land in china, shanghai, Beijing or hong kong…….I don't use it till I reach the gate but when taxiing I turn it on and I have service

Reply

Teenage Tourist August 5, 2010 at 6:03 am

Sorry, my bad! What I meant was apart from taxiing, you won't get any reception from takeoff to landing!

Reply

Lady G August 5, 2010 at 8:26 am

Hello hello baby you called

I can't hear a thing

I have got no service

In the club, you say? say?

Wha-wha-what did you say huh?

You're breakin' up on me

Sorry I cannot hear you

I'm kinda busy

K-kinda busy

K-kinda busy

Sorry I cannot hear you I'm kinda busy

Just a second

It's my favorite song they're gonna play

And I cannot text you with a drink in my hand, eh?

You shoulda made some plans with me

You knew that I was free

And now you won't stop calling me

I'm kinda busy

[Pre-Chorus:]

Stop callin'

Stop callin'

I don't wanna think anymore

I left my head and my heart on the dancefloor

Stop callin'

Stop callin'

I don't wanna talk anymore

I left my head and my heart on the dancefloor

[Chorus:]

E-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e

Stop telephonin'

Me-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e

I'm busy e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e

Stop telephonin'

Me-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e

Can call all you want but there's no one home

And you're not gonna reach my telephone

Out in the club

And I'm sippin that bubb

And you're not gonna reach my telephone

Call all you want, but there's no one home

And you're not gonna reach my telephone

Out in the club

And I'm sippin that bubb

And you're not gonna reach my telephone

[Beyonce]

Boy the way you blowing up my phone

Won't make me leave no faster

Put my coat on faster

Leave my girls no faster

I shoulda left my phone at home

'Cuz this is a disaster

Calling like a collector

Sorry, I cannot answer

[Lady Gaga]

Not that I don't like you

I'm just at a party

And I am sick and tired of my phone r-ringing

[Beyonce]

Sometimes I feel like I live in grand central station

Tonight I'm not takin' no calls

'Cuz I'll be dancin'

I'll be dancin'

I'll be dancin'

Tonight I'm not takin' no calls

Cuz I'll be dancin'

[Pre-Chorus x2]

[Chorus]

[x3]

My telephone

Ma ma ma telephone

'Cuz I'm out in the club

And I'm sippin that bubb

And you're not gonna reach my telephone

(We're sorry, we're sorry

The number you have reached

Is not in service at this time

Please check the number, or try your call again)

Reply

Rob August 5, 2010 at 9:51 am

Frankly, even if cellphones don't affect aircraft communications, I really hope that they continue to be banned during flights. Air travel can be annoying as it is, and having people's cell phones go off every ten seconds would make it even worse.

Reply

rerere August 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

You're not supposed to use your cell phone in-flight because not of the aircraft communications/electronics, but because the signal from your phone jumps to many cell phone towers, disrupting other calls on the ground.

Reply

David August 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

Sorry but that is simply not true. Going from tower to tower is what the phone is designed to do, just as it does when you use a phone in the car. This is why they are called "cell" phones, because they jump from one "cell" coverage tower to another as you travel.

Reply

Glenn R August 6, 2010 at 7:16 am

Passengers are permitted, on most airlines, to use their cell phones once the aircraft is on the ground. If the phone rang just before touch down, by the time the crewmember advised the passenger to turn off her phone the aircraft would be on the ground. As for the pilot's sister, I call BS.

Reply

Kelly September 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm

rerere is actually right…it has nothing to do with causing the plane to crash or any of that, it has to do with the phones trying to connect with every tower it "sees" which at that speed would be dozens. The phones would try to connect with each tower, overloading it and causing dropped calls to those on the ground, the technology hasn't caught up yet. People are so stupid, can you imagine listening to Nicole talking about her manicure, her date and how drunk she got last weekend? Or Dave showing us all how important he is has he babbles in some sort of work jargon LOUDLY. God help us all when cell phones are allowed on planes.

(A side note, using the phones does cause a weird clicking noise in the pilots headset, they know when people are using them when they are trying to communicate with ATC as they try to get instructions to/from the gate. If they can't hear, we don't go so keep in mind too).

Reply

rerere September 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Thanks Kelly!

Reply

Rich October 15, 2010 at 3:42 am

Perhaps, perhaps not. I have heard it stated by technicians that it does not matter. However, it IS a moot point you can not get reliable service until you are on the ground. At 35000 ft you simple get nothing. On approach for landing it is spotty at best. I tried once on a late flight when I had to listen in on a conference call. I simple could not stay connected until on the ground.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: