Europe’s leading holiday home website is petitioning Downing Street as part of a campaign to prevent airlines such as Ryanair from allowing mobile phone calls and texts during flights.
The budget airline has just begun a trial introducing the technology for passengers on Three and 02 networks.
Since the news was announced, the company behind holiday home rentals website www.directholidaybookings.co.uk, has been flooded with emails from customers opposing the move.
Andrew Gibson, managing director of DirectHolidayBookings.co.uk, said: “Having heard about Ryanair’s decision to trial the use of mobile phones on their flights, I knew this would provoke a lot of debate amongst our thousands of users who fly a great deal, often on low budget airlines.
“What I wasn’t prepared for was the large scale reaction we received from people vehemently opposing this decision. This has led us to begin petitioning Downing Street to try and prevent this from becoming common practise within the commercial aviation industry.
“The feedback we’ve received states that the last thing people want when flying is to be subjected to other passengers shouting into their mobile phones with loud and annoying ring tones going off constantly. Our users also have safety concerns regarding potential interference with the aircraft’s controls.”
The campaign is launched just days after reports of an emergency landing by airline Quantas, potentially resulting from interference with the aircraft’s sophisticated controls from a laptop with its wireless function turned on, a Bluetooth mouse or electronic game.
Businesses such as Swiss communications company OnAir and British-based Aeromobile already have lucrative deals with Ryanair and Emirates respectively and other airlines including Quantas, BMI and Air France are set to follow suit.
Airlines involved are said to be taking a large cut of an estimated £2 per minute from the payments made to network providers by passengers.
Gibson continued: “It looks like more airlines are set to follow the example of Ryanair and Emirates and this is something we are very keen to prevent. For business travellers and holiday makers alike, an aeroplane journey can provide the last bit of peace and sanctuary before going on holiday or into a meeting.
“It seems that this is just yet another way for airlines to make more profit using any methods available. We all know how annoying it is when somebody is talking loudly on their phone in a restaurant or on other forms of public transport – I think it’s important to stop this happening on planes too.”