Thursday 5 December 2013

GUEST BLOG: Mobiles on flights: good or bad for business travel?

Have you noticed how, these days, we are glued to our phones 24/7? It’s like we are scared to be apart from them. Without them, we feel out of the loop - disconnected. Some people even suffer separation anxiety when they have to turn their phones off and, until very recently, that included on flights. But now Europe is relaxing rules about the use of electronics during flights, paving the way for devices to be used during take-off and landing. The good news is the increased productivity time it offers for business travellers, particularly on long haul flights. But is it good to sacrifice well-earned downtime? Will it have cost implications? And are travellers happy about this prospect?

Currently smartphones, tablets and other devices can be used only while a plane is airborne. But now the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published guidelines saying use of such devices should now be allowed during take-off and landing. It follows the US bringing in similar rules last month. The EASA stipulates that devices must be used in ‘airplane mode’, however, meaning passengers cannot use voice or text services due to the possibility of radio interference with flight equipment. The changes will apply to aircraft operated by European airlines and are likely to be introduced at the end of the month.

At RoamingExpert we are finding that businesses are using more and more mobile data and their costs concerned with roaming charges are spiralling. It is great that we have all this technology at our fingertips and a mobile workforce, which is efficient and productive, but with extended use of technology there is a cost implication to consider. Businesses that travel and their travel managers are continually looking at ways to streamline the travel process with new apps and processes being implemented. I would urge all companies that travel and their travel managers to look at the implications these changes have on their data and roaming costs because experience shows us that it is significant.

I’d be interested to know how business travellers, travel managers and small businesses feel about this change and I’d urge you to contact me @roamingexpert with the hashtag #bts14

This blog post was written by Mark Pattman, managing director of Business Travel Show exhibitor RoamingExpert – for more information, please visit and  


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