Deactivation of telephones on flights.

 
Old May 15, 02, 12:22 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Encino, California
Posts: 35
Deactivation of telephones on flights.

Does anyone know the reason why American deactivated telephones on its flights?
springpa is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 12:24 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chicago, IL - AA PLT
Posts: 973
I think I read that on average they were only being used for one call per flight. The costs per call were rediculous.
FlyByMike is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 12:30 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Fort Worth tx
Programs: Lifetime AA Platinum
Posts: 149
All the airlines are dropping the in-flight phones. Most everyone travels with a cell phone, making the expensive in-flight phones irrelevant.

I will miss the ability to make free in-flight calls to AA. It was a helpful feature when delays that caused missed connections
dfwdal is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 2:02 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: AA GLD, Marriott PLT, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 2,900
No one used them. I *rarely* saw anybody use these.
jsmeeker is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 2:46 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Ft Worth, Texas
Programs: AA/UA/BA
Posts: 2,850
The utilisation rate was 3 calls per aircraft, per day. Way too low to justify keeping them, don't you think?
777Brit is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 3:27 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 12,097
Of course, at $16/1st minute + $8/add'l minute (+ taxes) you wouldn't expect much usage.

I don't get it why they didn't try a $.50 a minute pricing and see if it stimulated usage -- the variable costs of the service can't be that high (all the cost, phones plus transmitters), were sunk.

You can't use cellphones in the air. And those airphones allowed a F/A to provide vital information on 9/11. No more.
hillrider is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 3:34 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Here, There and Everywhere (but now on the Pacific)!
Programs: AC E75, MPC G and NEXUS/GE fan, Fairmont Plat, SPG Gold, National EE, Amex Plat
Posts: 724
Actually, you CAN use cellphones in the air, although the reception is spotty.

If you start to use it though, expect other passengers to rat you out, as you are breaking one of the cardinal rules of aircraft.

You always could use the lavatory though....hmmm...I wonder if anyone has had phone sex in the lav and considered themselves to be in the mile-high club?
kpalle is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 4:12 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: أمريكا
Posts: 25,574
AT&T is mainly responsible for the phones being pulled. Sometime in Sept, Oct or Nov they saw their profits were down. To combat that, they nearly tripled the per minute rate, effectively pricing everyone out of the market.

Either the people at AT&T are idiots or they don't understand economics (in which case they're probably idiots).

d
Doppy is offline  
Old May 15, 02, 5:03 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New York, New York, USA
Posts: 6
kpalle.....you irresponsible idiot.
p131 is offline  
Old May 16, 02, 3:49 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Ft Worth, Texas
Programs: AA/UA/BA
Posts: 2,850
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by p131:
kpalle.....you irresponsible idiot.</font>
Maybe, but he/she is also quite correct.
Digital (GSM/PCN) networks will work up to about FL250, Analogue networks are good up to about FL350.

Digital networks don't want handsets to be used because they would be switching cells every few seconds or minutes. The networks are not designed to have handsets literally flying across them at over 500mph. This constant cell-switching can 'crash' the digital cell and reduce network coverage.

Of course, remember that there's no proven evidence of cellular devices causing uncontrolled flight control surface deviations or interference with actual navigational aids. The most intereference comes from the high-pitched noise heard in the pilots headsets whenever a cellular telephone is used.
777Brit is offline  
Old May 16, 02, 5:03 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: MA
Programs: DL DM/2MM Marriott Platinum, HH Diamond,
Posts: 8,507
Funny thing is that if you priced the airphone service reasonably, perhaps 35c-40c per minute, I'll bet people would use the service quite frequently. It is especially good when you're flight is running late.
RobertS975 is offline  
Old May 16, 02, 6:53 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 1,442
I will not stoop to calling names, even though I agreed with the sentiments.

Suffice to say, do not try that on a European carrier as you willbe in very serious trouble. Try it in absolutely no way on any aircraft that (like the Airbus A320) which has computers operating the flight controls.

I fear that I am one of the people who just get so irritated at listening to other people braying on their phones on trains and other public transport. Aircraft are havens of respite for the likes of me. I suppose that we will now see outbreaks of Phone Rage amongst those for whom the craving is too strong!
PAUL PALMER is offline  
Old May 16, 02, 7:39 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Programs: SPG Gold, AA Lifetime Platinum, UA Platinum, DL Platinum, HHonors Diamond, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 7,417
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by 777Brit:
Maybe, but he/she is also quite correct.
Digital (GSM/PCN) networks will work up to about FL250, Analogue networks are good up to about FL350.

Digital networks don't want handsets to be used because they would be switching cells every few seconds or minutes. The networks are not designed to have handsets literally flying across them at over 500mph. This constant cell-switching can 'crash' the digital cell and reduce network coverage.

Of course, remember that there's no proven evidence of cellular devices causing uncontrolled flight control surface deviations or interference with actual navigational aids. The most intereference comes from the high-pitched noise heard in the pilots headsets whenever a cellular telephone is used.
</font>
It may be true that you can get the phone to work at altitude, but you create a lot of grief for the cellular network - in particular other users of the network. In analog systems and most digital systems (with the possible exception of CDMA), the systems are designed to reuse the same frequencies every so many cells. When you use it at altitude, your assigned frequency can blanket a very large area, being strong not only in the cell that you're using, but in many other cells where the system has assigned another user to your frequency. Since the cellular system has no way of knowing that you're at altitude, it's quite likely that your frequency will be assigned to other users (perhaps many) whose calls won't work properly.

This is why, at least in the US, it's against FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulations to use a cellphone in an aircraft while airborne. So, even if the FAA were to determine that there was no danger to the aircraft, it would still be illegal in the US to use one while in flight because of interference to other users of the cellular system.
Steve M is offline  
Old May 16, 02, 9:24 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Here, There and Everywhere (but now on the Pacific)!
Programs: AC E75, MPC G and NEXUS/GE fan, Fairmont Plat, SPG Gold, National EE, Amex Plat
Posts: 724
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by p131:
kpalle.....you irresponsible idiot.</font>
Thanks! That's a very insightful comment! Just happens to be incorrect!

I've never used a cell phone on an aircraft, but have seen people doing so. I suppose watching somebody do that makes me an irresponsible idiot, right?

How do I know the reception is spotty? My seatmate on the flight in question (where I watched somebody use their cell phone) informed me that service isn't the greatest in the air, but that it can be done.

Grow up, and get your facts straight before shooting off your lip.
kpalle is offline  
Old May 16, 02, 9:42 am
  #15  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
Programs: AA 2MM Lifetime Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,344
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by 777Brit:
Of course, remember that there's no proven evidence of cellular devices causing uncontrolled flight control surface deviations or interference with actual navigational aids. The most intereference comes from the high-pitched noise heard in the pilots headsets whenever a cellular telephone is used. </font>
I've read this on FT before. Are we supposed to wait for a fatal crash in which it is determined that use of a cell phone on board was the cause? I rather be safe than sorry.


[This message has been edited by Neal (edited 05-16-2002).]
Neal is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: