SAS lifting ban on mobile phones

‘Flight-mode’ may be a thing of the past once SAS starts rolling out mobile phone friendly aircraft this month

October 2nd, 2012 11:49 am| by admin
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One of the last bastions of quiet will be ended when SAS introduces technology into some of its aircraft that will allow passengers to speak on their mobile phones during flights.

The airline has already provided wireless internet on some of their Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which will be upgraded to also allow mobile phone use.

During a trial programme, SAS offered free internet access for customers on some of its aircraft. Last week, however, the airline ended the free trial. Now, passengers on aircraft equipped with wireless will have to pay 89 kroner to connect to the internet.

Passengers in business class and 'Economy Extra' will be granted free access to the internet however.

SAS primarily uses the internet-ready Boeing 737-800 aircraft for flights to and from Oslo and Stockholm, so Copenhagen travellers heading toward these destinations will be offered internet access.

According to CHECK-IN.dk, SAS competitor Norwegian offers free wireless internet to all its passengers on internet-ready aircraft though SAS’s internet speed is reportedly twice that of Norwegian’s.

SAS argues that the charge on economy-class passengers is to keep ticket prices down and to ensure that business passengers that most need the connection are given a priority with the limited internet bandwidth. CHECK-IN.dk reports that Norwegian adds 10 kroner to the price of all tickets to pay for the internet, even if a passenger does not use it.

While many may welcome the increased connectivity that airlines are now offering, not everyone is pleased, including the former immigration minister, Søren Pind (Venstre).

“Oh no, the last romantic part of flying is ending,” Pind wrote on Facebook. “No peace there either. A quiet seat please.”

There are no reports on whether SAS will also introduce quiet compartments for their aircraft.

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