The Last Oasis of Quiet In Peril As Virgin Atlantic OKs Phone Calls

This cannot be a good thing.

Virgin Atlantic will now allow cell phone calls.

For most of us, a crying baby would be preferable to row after row of passengers jabbering away at high volume on their phones. Virgin Atlantic says it will limit the number of calls at any given time but it is crystal clear that that will change as other carriers open the hellgates to people who absolutely positively must share their high-decibel experiences to someone on the other end of the line — to the dismay of those all around.

Air travel has had the zone of radio silence since the beginning but it’s hard to imagine that peace and quiet will last much longer with the new opportunity to prattle. Little good can come of this.

(Having more opportunity to talktalktalk may well eliminate the tarmac rush to conclude a conversation. I’ve shared this before, but once I was on a plane that was wheeling out to take off and the woman in the seat next to me was briskly giving instructions and directions to an aide back at the office, a male aide, as it happened. Do this. Do that. She rattled off hercommands, knowing that she would have to shut down any second. So it was that she concluded, “Take care of this. Take care of that. OK, gotta run. Love you.”

(After a moment she turned to me, a stranger, and asked, “Did I just say, ‘Love you’ ?” I allowed that yes she did. She rubbed her temples and spent the rest of the flight thinking about how the reflexive ‘love you’ such as you might offer to the kids or sweetheart at home was playing as the word went around the office.)



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