Last week, I had the chance to chat with Patrick Brannelly, Emirates VP Passenger Communications and Visual Services. The topic? Onboard mobile phone use. This should spark some pretty interesting debate.

Patrick was very encouraged by what he’s seeing on Emirates so far, and he thinks much of the anti-phone hype is just that . . . hype. Does that mean that the rest of the world should adopt it? It’s obviously quite a complicated subject, but I must admit that seeing how it’s being used in real life makes me less averse to the idea in general.

You can decide for yourself.

Cranky: Hi Patrick, thanks for taking the time to talk with me about mobile phone usage onboard today. I understand that you’re seeing some very good response to the program.

Patrick: Yes, we are. We now have it on 37 or 38 aircraft and we launched it over a year ago. We’re seeing about 35% of people switch their phones on - sometimes as high as 65% of known passengers. These are people who switch their phones on. Some who switch it on can’t roam or don’t have roaming agreements, so not all can use it. In the last year since we launched, over a quarter of a million people switched a phone on on an Emirates flight. We’ve never had a single complaint. People like to message. There’s been a lot of use of SMS.

Continue reading on

Comments by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

About this author

  • Cranky Flier

    My name is Brett, and I’m an airline dork. I’ve had the bug since I was young. As a kid, I never missed a chance to go to LAX a…

Also by this author

Latest travel blog posts