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A World of Diminishing Space and Privacy - Like It or Lump It.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Friday, 13th December 2013

Two things happened on my last trip round the world worth commenting on:
One, the move by US authorities to allow mobiles to be used inflight during taxi, takeoff and landing.

Delta Airlines was the first airline to allow this and on my flight from JFK to Fort Lauderdale, I experienced what could well be the new inflight experience – enforced “eavesdropping” on other people’s conversations.
In such a small space, you can’t help but hear everything and on this flight, I was seated between two fairly hefty men I am guessing of similar vintage, 50+, and both were as loud as they were wide.
One was talking to his daughter, who was obviously a musician. He had flown in from Narita, met a few American jazz musicians at the airport, struck up a conversation, told them about his daughter and now they were keen to meet her and listen to her play.
The other was speaking to a sibling, obviously concerned about his mother. “Can you pop in to see her? I’m a bit worried and you live close by. I wished I had more time,” he said.
I like that even though we are worlds apart, we all share the same stories.
I am not sure I like it though that now, up to 10,000 feet, passengers are now allowed to use personal electronic devices as long as they are in airplane mode. And now with wifi also available on most flights at I presume more affordable rates, I wonder if airlines should introduce social etiquette videos just as they have those safety announcements.
I can’t wait for a Virgin America video on that – if it’s along the lines of their latest safety video which has become a YouTube sensation, it should be fun.

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