Tuesday 12 December 2017

Business Traveller: Passengers divided on plan for in-air calls

WOULD it bother you if your in-flight neighbour struck up a conversation – with a friend at home? Debate on the merits of allowing voice calls while flying is at an all-time high after US authorities relaxed in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity rules earlier this month. But while common courtesy demands tolerance of phone calls on most forms of public transport, some passengers are more willing to extend this tolerance to flights than others.

US carriers Delta, United Continental and US Airways all still forbid voice calls. In a recent survey, Delta found that 64pc of its customers viewed the potential for phone calls negatively.

"Voice communications, or voice calls, in a confined space such as an aircraft is simply something our customers do not want," said Paul Skrbec, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based carrier.

A US union for flight attendants has also pointed out that cabin crews fear passengers will focus on phone conversations instead of safety briefings.

But phone calls are allowed on several non-US airlines and tolerance is high among passengers, according to Aurelie Branchereau-Giles, a spokeswoman for the in-flight connectivity company OnAir.

"We haven't heard of a single complaint about people making calls since the service started in 2007," she said. "An aircraft is a noisy environment, so the sound of a conversation doesn't carry very far."


ALWAYS double-check your taxi as you leave. New research from Hotels.com shows that items lost in cabs overwhelmingly tend to be expensive, with mobile phones topping the list as the item most commonly left behind in taxis.

But while mobile phones were the most common item listed, they weren't the most interesting – everything from false teeth, wheelchairs, underwear, plane tickets and dirty nappies were left behind.

The survey also established that while Americans might be known for their generous tips, the Irish are still the best passengers on home turf. They were voted the clear favourites by Dublin taxi drivers.


SPENDING a night between destinations in a stopover city and need a place to stay? Online boutique hotel expert Mr & Mrs Smith has come up with 10 hotels for a memorable stopover.

Those seeking a bit of relaxation between business meetings would do well to arrange their stopover in Singapore. The Capella Singapore (below) is located on Sentosa Island, just a 15-minute taxi hop south of the city centre – but feels like it's a world away from the hustle and bustle.

For foodies, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong has the two-Michelin-starred Amber restaurant, where Richard Ekkebus whips up modern French cuisine.

Those working in technology and passing through New York should look no further than the Hotel Americano, voted Best Hipster Haven. Just a short hop away from Chelsea, this 56-room hot spot is a hit with the fashion set.

Irish Independent

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