London City airport to run ‘smartphone amnesty’ initiative

London City airport to run ‘smartphone amnesty’ initiative

London City airport is calling on passengers to take part in a ‘smartphone amnesty’ for a digital distraction, instead offering them a ‘Light Phone’ which only makes and receives phone calls.

Participating passengers sign a memorandum of understanding which commits them to switching off their smartphone and ditching screen time for at least 48 hours of their holiday. They can keep their own number by using call forwarding.

The airport says the initiative, which runs between August 13 and August 27, will help passengers switch off from their work emails, apps and social media while on holiday.

Ofcom’s says 78% of UK adults own a smartphone and that the average user checks it once every 12 minutes during waking hours. For holidaymakers, the smartphone can be a useful tool to plan activities, post holiday snaps and read up on news at home.

The Light Phone was created by the New York-based Light Company and launched in January 2017. It has a simple interface with an intentional lack of features to “minimise digital distraction”.

It only enables phone calls to be made and received, and only nine phone numbers can be saved to speed dial.

Liam McKay, director of corporate affairs at London City airport, said: “As the summer getaway continues, the Light Phone will help London City Airport’s ever-increasing leisure travellers reduce digital distraction and reclaim those quality moments with family and friends on holiday. After all, a summer break is about detaching from everyday life and work.

“I know from personal experience that it’s not always possible to avoid screen time when on downtime, as my wife will attest. This is an opportunity for some of our passengers, including those who typically use the airport for business travel, to try a digital detox.”

Kaiwei Tang, co-founder and CEO at Light Phone added: “The Light Phone gives back the most important things we have in our life but too easily take for granted, our time and attention. It is designed to be used as little as possible, and every design decision along the way reflects that philosophy.

“A holiday is a time to be truly present for ourselves and those we love and this Light Phone can help us focus on what’s really important.”

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