26.07.2007 -17 °C
"Check it out, I'm calling you from the plane!!!" Photo by mig13.
The 8pm train was empty, save about a dozen passengers and myself. A phone rang. Up the other end of the carriage, a young woman answered the call. She was loud, really loud. Like most of my fellow passengers, I did my best to ignore the noise.
The three teenagers sitting behind her didn’t. They countered with cries of “shut up!”. They imitated her by talking at an even louder volume. They made matters much worse.
Eventually, the guy sitting next to me piped up and yelled across the carriage:
"Would you leave the f****** woman alone!"
Pleasant vibes all round. But it shut the teens right up; and the original loud-talking passenger ended her call, seemingly oblivious to the fuss she’d just caused.
It may be better to catch the train than to drive yourself to work, but I find it decidedly uncomfortable when my fellow passengers decide to carry on loud and public conversations on their phones. I've sat on the train and heard a guy bad-mouthing his wife (he was talking to his lover); I've caught the evening train and spent half an hour listening to an excited young gentleman calling his friends - one by one - to tell them he just got a new job.
Maybe I'm just grumpy when I'm on the train. But I'm of the opinion that when you're sharing public transportation, it is respectful to your fellow passengers to maintain a modicum of reserve in your phone conversations.
Apparently, airlines are starting to allow people to carry and use mobile phones on planes. Hurrah. Is the in-flight experience really going to be helped by loud-mouthed, phone-wielding passengers?
I’m not the only one who doesn’t relish the prospect.
Darren Cronian from Travel Rants doesn’t want them.
Charles Starmer-Smith from the Telegraph doesn’t want them.
Rick Seany, the founder of FareCompare.com, points out: “there actually was an age when you couldn’t be reached anywhere at any time, and the world managed to keep turning.”
What about you? Do you think being able to use mobile phones on planes is handy, or are you dreading the thought of being stuck next to someone calling all their friends just tell them they're on a plane?