Europe approves in flight cell phone use. Let the bickering begin.

The European Commission has just approved a plan that will allow passengers flying within Europe to use their cell phones once airborne, with some carriers expected to offer the service as soon as next month. If you think flying is an uncomfortable chore today, just wait until the person sitting three inches to your left is able to yak loudly on their phone all the way from Stockholm to Rome.

Rather than communicating directly with ground based cells, the planes will be set up with a so-called pico cell, that will communicate via satellite with terrestrial services. The cost of making a call is yet to be determined, but it will be more than a regular land based call.

Personally, I feel that this could become a real security problem, with some particularly obnoxious callers even leading to on board fighting. Perhaps they should divide the plane into cell phone enabled and cell phone free sections, much like they used to do with smokers and non-smokers.

BBC News