Emirates Airlines OKs Cellphones In-flight

Image redacted.

Emirates Airlines will become the first carrier to enable full cellphone use on its flights, starting January. The western world is surely soon to follow.

Finally, definitive proof that using your cellphone on the plane supports terrorism. — BEN POPKEN

International airline to allow cell phone chatter on planes [CNN] (Thanks to CrayonShinobi!)


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  1. Hoss says:

    Emirates. Terrorists? Now I got to stay tuned…

  2. karimagon says:

    Yuck. The beginning of the end.

    Here comes listening to the infinite details of peoples’ lives through one-sided conversation in the small enclosed space of a plane cabin.

    Can’t wait.

  3. junkmail says:

    yup, getcher fire gear ready…

  4. stilldavid says:

    And you thought the crying babies were torture enough at 35,000 feet with no escape…

  5. somnambulist says:

    Why are you using an image from Flicker w/o attribution??


  6. Mary says:

    I know it was sarcasm, but let’s not classify every business running out of the Middle East as some sort of terrorist cell.

    And next time you steal a photo from Flickr via Print Screen, wait until the note markers disappear…less obvious that way.

  7. conedude13 says:

    Its probably going to take a bit longer than “soon” for the western world to follow suit. Cell phone usage is against FCC law and this law is supported by the FAA. Punishments vary from airline to airline, but you can be assured that they will take it extremely seriously.

  8. JT says:

    Steal from flickr. If I don’t want my pictures shared on the internet, I don’t put them on the internet.

    As for the UAE … and Saudi Arabia, ect. Well it just shows what our gvt. really supports. Money talks BS (which in this case is democracy) walks.

  9. Here comes listening to the infinite details of peoples’ lives through one-sided conversation in the small enclosed space of a plane cabin.

    That was my first thought too…

    The article also explains that Qantas will be following suit next year…so it looks like really long international flight carriers are the ones implementing this, when having this service on the short flight domestic carriers would be far more useful and less likely to annoy…Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they had a designated part of the plane (not at your seat) maybe right by the engines, where you can use your cell, that would be helpful to avoid the annoyance factor.

  10. CTSLICK says:

    Someone kill me now, should this turn into a trend then air travel is about to go from somewhat annoying to completely intolerable. Please airlines execs, put a muzzle on your Marketing people who are screaming that this will “give you an edge”. Listen to the little voice inside your head that is screaming for all its worth…this is a bad idea. Good Lord, can you hear me now? Dozens of people trying to yammer above the ambient noise in a metal tube flinging through the air at 400 MPH driven by big air suckers that convert fuel into noise…no thanks. Time for the airlines to step up and prove they have one tiny slice of common sense left and veto cellphones on airplanes for anything other than texting and data. Please, I implore you stop for a second and think.

  11. Kluv says:

    @Tycho — it has nothing to do with not wanting your picture shared, it has to do with receiving credit for the picture that you took.

    I’m pretty sure that if some other site took one of Ben’s stories and used it as their own (without crediting him as the writer), he wouldn’t be very happy, either.

  12. Ben Popken says:

    I linked the photo the Flickr user’s, and shall do so from now on with Flickr users.

  13. Ben Popken says:

    I have now removed the link because we realize that this policy would be more trouble than it’s worth. If people want credit, they can ask for it. If people want their photo down, they can ask us. Otherwise, we’ll just go back to using the best photos we can find in order to illustrate our posts. If you guys want a bunch of ugly ass retarded stock photos all the time, you’re in the fucking wrong place.

  14. bambino says:

    Not only will people be talking on cell phones, but they’ll have to be shouting over the loud-assness that is an airplane cabin, plus you know when your ears get stopped up? How it makes you think you’re speaking normally when in fact you’re yelling? Yay for road-trips now.

  15. shaunirving says:

    To hell with rights usage, I just want to know how the Rolls Royce logo disappears from the linked Flickr image… magic, I tell you!

  16. Kluv says:

    Now I’m confused. I’m not trying to bust your balls, because I love the site, but —

    You’re saying that giving credit to the photographer is “more trouble” than you actually having to do a screen capture of the photo (because they have it set so you can’t mirror it), and then photoshopping out the logo that shows you took it from flickr in the first place?

    It’s actually pretty easy. Photo credit: Uae-dragon.com

    (I mean, if Wall-Mart took this guy’s photos and used it in a promotional campaign without his permission, I have a feeling you’d be all over them for it… but, that’s just my .02 cents.)

  17. Ben Popken says:


    Ok. I removed the RR logo because it was distracting. The focus is supposed to be on the Arabic script.

    Credit is more credit than its worth because then we would have to deal with people bitching all day that we didn’t spell their name correctly, or they want their name and not their Flickr ID and so on and so forth… when my time is better spent looking for the next post to write. The next post that will save you time or money, or reveal some corporate skulduggery or whatnot. What is the greater good? To use the best photo possible to illustrate the post and move on!

  18. Ben Popken says:

    ^ * credit is more “trouble” than it’s worth

  19. Mike_ says:

    I don’t think attribution would absolve you here, anyway. Some Flickr users release their photos using one of the six Creative Commons 2.5 licenses. This user selected “all rights reserved” for his work — no license granted.

  20. Magister says:

    Sorry to contribute to the thread-jack, but this is a big site now and you owe a duty to be a little more careful about the pics you choose. As was stated previous, there would be a huge ‘outrage’ if some Walmart Flog was using someone elses pics without permission. Then imagine the response that you guys would give on CNN if Walmart said ‘Just too much trouble, do you want a good Flog with good pics or not?’

  21. acambras says:

    Whose ass is that in the “Phattest Posts” photo?

  22. Ben Popken says:

    I know, let’s make drawings of everything.

    We are careful. We choose nice photos.

    If musicians and producers used the same notions of copyright today back in the day, there would be no hiphop.

    Consider us the Paul’s Boutique of consumer knowledge.

  23. acambras says:

    LOL — I bet your first drawing will be of a Ben Popken stick figure pushing a bunch of snarky commenter stick figures out of the next frame.

    Problem Solved! ;-)

  24. Magister says:

    Hey, that isn’t funny… That encourages violence against women… And snarky commenters.. Just inappropriate for a forum where children might see it. :)

  25. Mike_ says:

    Free images of Emirates planes (with varying levels of license encumbrance). We see lots of pictures of planes taking off, landing or in flight, but a little creative cropping could keep these fresh.

    Good sources for free images are here, here and here. Just be sure to read the license attached to the image to ensure it is free for commercial use, and add credit when the license requires it.

    Bad source for images here. If Reuters sicks its copyright enforcement team on you, you’ll be spending more time defending yourself, and less time on writing stories or finding public domain art. I think we’d prefer to see no picture at all, rather than a picture that could eventually lead to the end of your site as a resource for consumers.

  26. MeOhMy says:

    “If Reuters sicks its copyright enforcement team on you, you’ll be spending more time defending yourself, and less time on writing stories or finding public domain art.”

    This is what I was going to say (well something like this). If you cross the wrong person, you’re going to need more than the trademark Gawker Snark to get past it.

    Germaine to the article: Put your headphones on or your earplugs in and just tune out.

  27. Ben Popken says:

    Luckily Gawker Media Network has a crack legal team to do that kind of work.

  28. winnabago says:

    Many airlines will give you free earplugs if you ask. I find the noise of many planes too much, and have started requesting them preflight, or bringing my own.

  29. MeOhMy says:

    “Luckily Gawker Media Network has a crackhead legal team to do that kind of work.”

    Fixed that for you, Ben. :-D

  30. Magister says:

    On the gun range I have the cheap foam earplugs. They work great on the plane too. I buy them in bulk from Harbor Freight. Great for this kind of thing.

  31. Sudonum says:

    Noise Canceling Headphones and an MP3 player

  32. FLConsumer says:

    Emirates Air rules… Their “coach” service outclasses any of the US airlines 1st class service. Without a doubt, Emirates knows how to treat their customers right.

  33. madderhatter says:

    Who cares. You’ll never catch me on one of their planes. Go Delta !!!

    Oh yeah, and quit stealing pictures and making the Copyright Police mad. Go Plagiarism !

    If you don’t want your pics or whatever jacked on the web don’t put them there. If someone is *that* concerned about it (legally) then one word: steganography.

  34. dknighton says:

    Ben… In my opinion, your flippant attitude towards the rights of others severely hurt Consumerist’s credibility today. This site continually and correctly beats the drum for the rights of consumers not to be taken advantage of by businesses. Yet in this instance, where you are very clearly wrong to use someone else’s work without proper attribution, you resort to foul language and a “who cares” attitude just because you find it inconvenient to give proper credit.

    And let’s be clear: That is ALL that was asked for here. You used the photographic work of someone else, and they wanted to be credited. It’s not about money, only about properly indicating the source of a photo. Flickr users have already pointed out that this is not the first time Consumerist has done this, just the first time you were caught.

    When people take the time to take photos, upload them, and apply the necessary licensing, the least you can do is properly attribute the source of the photo. I think you owe this user, and the other users of Flickr who’s work you have improperly used, an immediate apology and proper credit if you continue to use their works in the future.

  35. jdelamater says:

    OK – so you think it is not a big deal. I remind you that United States Code Title 17 is what we like to call “Copyright Law”. Section 106, found here, establishes the rights of a copyright owner. You are violating those rights, plain and simple.

    And Section 106(a) establishes that the author of the work can make your ass take it down. But it doesn’t stop there.

    Copyright infringement, which you are doing, is a federal crime. You are liable for damages. So let’s see what you’ve earned! Assuming that the photo is registered, you are liable for *gasp* $150,000! Why so high? Because you are willfully and intentionally violating the copyright holder’s rights. That’s $150K for each and every time that you take someone else’s photograph.

    But what’s that? You say “fair use”? Hardly. Fair Use is a defense to infringment. It still means that you are infringing, but that you are not liable for damages because (insert snarky comment seen above).

    You MAY have a defense of fair use, but wouldn’t it just be easier to either find public domain images, take your own photos or give people attribution? It’s simply ludicrous that you will risk losing that much money in court.

    Also, good ole’ section 106(a) prevents you from using that work if they tell you not to, no matter what. It just seems to me that you should suck it up, stop being a whiney baby, and attribute the photos like any other self-respecting individual would do.